Jan 25, 2022 News
By Kiana Wilburg
Kaieteur News – Given the significant volume of natural gas discovered in the Stabroek Block and the quantity that would be piped to shore via the US$900M gas-to-shore project, many industry experts had warned that Guyana would have to explore the exportation of gas since domestic demand would be utterly overwhelmed.
Based on recent statements by President, Irfaan Ali, it appears Guyana is gearing to enter the gas export market.
During his keynote address to over 300 participants at the Caribbean Sustainable Energy Conference 2022 on Monday, Ali noted that if nations are to pool their collective efforts and achieve the imperative goal of net zero carbon emissions by 2050, then the transition to cleaner energy sources is critical.
In this regard, Ali said Guyana has committed to playing its part in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The Head of State said, “We have not taken refuge in the fact that more than 80 percent of our country is forests and that these forests absorb more greenhouse gases than the country’s human activity can produce. We have not taken refuge in the fact that these forests provide the world with important environmental and ecological services.
“As I committed to the 26th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP26) of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Guyana will reduce carbon foot print through a progressively cleaner energy mix with the aim of reducing carbon emissions by 70 percent in the energy sector by 2030.”
Ali said this cleaner energy mix involves the use of natural gas as a transition fuel. The President asserted that Guyana’s natural gas reserves will be put to work to help generate energy in the electricity sector.
Expounding further, he noted that the process of developing two major sources of energy which will add an additional 400MW to national grid has begun. Ali said the government is set to establish a 165MW plant at Amaila Falls which will provide a cheaper, renewable source of energy for sale to the national grid. He said that his administration is also developing a 250MW plant to generate energy from natural gas which would be piped onshore. He said, “This natural gas facility will be linked to the establishment of an industrial park and the creation of a liquefied petroleum gas plant to fulfill both local demand and for export.”
Kaieteur News previously reported that gas from the Liza Phase One, Liza Phase Two and Payara projects would be providing the US$900 gas-to-shore project with natural gas in the years to come.
Minister of Natural Resources, Vickram Bharrat had also disclosed that the Yellowtail Project which is poised to be executed by ExxonMobil in the Stabroek Block would also be connected when the time is right.
If Yellowtail receives the blessings of the PPP/C Government, it is poised to generate 450 million standard cubic feet of gas per day by 2025-2026. This is nine times the volume of gas that would be brought onshore via the US$900M gas-to-shore project which will initially feed off the combined resources of the ExxonMobil-led Liza Phase One and Two projects.
This was noted in ExxonMobil’s Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) on Yellowtail. That document is being reviewed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
In that report, ExxonMobil explained that the project which would be supported by resources from the Yellowtail and Redtail fields in the Stabroek Block will produce material quantities of associated gas. It said a key use for this associated gas is for fuel in gas turbines for power generation on the Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessel.
It noted that gas not used as fuel would then be available for alternative uses. ExxonMobil went on to explain that the three primary alternatives considered for use of associated gas include: flaring, re-injection, and export.
Expounding further, Exxon said routine flaring of associated gas is a method to deal with natural gas production in oil developments, but introduces significant environmental considerations and would not meet regulatory expectations in Guyana nor be consistent with good international oilfield practice.
As for re-injection, it was noted that this will occur throughout the 20-year life cycle of the project but since all of the gas cannot be re-injected, the next suitable option for consideration is exportation.
With this in mind, Exxon said, “There is currently a separate project being proposed to transport a portion of the gas (on the order of 50 million standard cubic feet of gas per day) from the Liza Phase 1 and Liza Phase 2 FPSOs to shore, where it would be used to generate power in a gas-fired power plant.”
The company added, “As this project would satisfy the currently identified gas demand in Guyana, there would not be enough additional demand in Guyana to consume the quantities of associated gas that will be produced from the (Yellowtail) Project (expected to peak at around 450 million standard cubic feet of gas per day).”
ExxonMobil was keen to note that a decision with respect to the export of gas from the Yellowtail Project will be made in the future.
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