Jan 18, 2022 News
– US company setting stage to step in, location already acquired
Kaieteur News – Following a review of the facilities and equipment here, it has been found that Guyana’s laboratories do not have the capability to do proper environmental tests associated with the oil and gas sector. This was noted in ExxonMobil’s Comprehensive Waste Management Plan (CWMP) submitted to Guyana’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) last year.
The document notes that ExxonMobil’s subsidiary, Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Limited (EEPGL) reviewed four laboratories that are in operation performing various degrees of analytical services, or have future planned operations.
It was noted that Kaizen (Georgetown) has a small lab with limited testing capability (no solid waste) with a small staff of approximately eight people for executing testing and other functions of this business.
EEPGL said the University of Guyana (Georgetown) has multiple analytical instruments but no laboratory. The company said the analytical instruments are not currently available for commercial purposes nor on a routine basis. The company said too that staffing may be limited to two persons.
With respect to Ecotox Environmental Services Ltd. (Ecotox), EEPGL said, this is a Trinidad based environmental testing and consultancy service that is considering the establishment of an environmental laboratory operation in Guyana. Ecotox currently provides all of the analytical services to Tiger Rentals Guyana and EEPGL for their waste management programmes. It was noted however that all samples must be shipped via air to Trinidad for analysis. EEPGL said this adds delays to obtaining time critical analytical results. Further to this, EEPGL said Ecotox is in a startup mode and currently has no building or laboratory, nor a staff. The company said Ecotox may not be ready for offering services for another five years.
Turning its attention to Ground Structures Engineering Consultants Ltd. (GSEC) at Liliendaal, Greater, Georgetown, EEPGL said it has an existing geotechnical laboratory, but it is not currently equipped for environmental testing and is essentially in a startup mode. The oil company said GSEC may not be ready for offering services for another five years.
The Stabroek Block operator was keen to note that an American laboratory service company that does pharmaceutical and U.S. Federal Drug Administration testing has expressed interest in developing environmental testing capabilities in Guyana. EEPGL said the company has the experience in managing a laboratory, acquired a location, and is in the process of procuring equipment. Kaieteur News understands that identifying the testing protocols and equipment needs are the next steps.
Currently, suitable analytical testing is available in Trinidad but EEPGL said use of a Trinidad laboratory extends the timeline for completion of test results along with attendant challenges associated with transport of samples.
Taking the foregoing into consideration, EEPGL suggested that an economic feasibility study be considered to determine if a commercial environmental laboratory in Guyana is a sustainable business with respect to supply and demand.
It said economic feasibility studies consider several factors which include: estimated startup cost for land purchase/lease, training budget, maintenance, certification, local technical staffing availability in Guyana, customer demand and pricing considerations, type and number of Guyana industries requiring third party analytical services, and Government regulations that require environmental monitoring.
EEPGL said other options to the development of a commercial environmental laboratory includes the expansion of the existing University of Guyana laboratory to provide additional analytical services to commercial customers, or the development of a laboratory owned and operated by the Environmental Protection Agency that can provide analytical services to support its needs.
EEPGL also recommended further collaboration with the EPA and potential stakeholders on the feasibility of expanding environmental testing services in Guyana to support commercial and government environmental data needs.
The Comprehensive Waste Management Plan (CWMP) is a document based on a holistic review of EEPGL’s maturing waste management process.
The CWMP was developed pursuant to Section Five of the Payara Development Project Environmental Permit and the Cradle to Grave Waste Analysis Study approved by the Environmental Protection Agency on September 13, 2021.
The Plan is intended to accommodate all projects in Guyana associated with EEPGL’s exploration and appraisal drilling, development drilling, installation and hook-up, commissioning, and start up, office construction, production operations, and related activities. The plan is inclusive of the Liza Phase One Development Project, Liza Phase Two Development Project which comes on stream this quarter, the Payara Development Project, the Guyana Fiber Optic Cable, and EEPGL’s Guyana Office Complex Project, as well as permitted or planned drilling projects. In addition, the plan makes provision for projects currently under review by the EPA, including Yellowtail and the Gas to Energy Project.
As new projects are planned or come on stream, Exxon said the plan will be updated to address them. Kaieteur News understands that the plan, once approved, will replace and supersede previous waste management plans incorporated in approved Environmental Impact Statements and permits for ExxonMobil.
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