May 19, 2022 News
Kaieteur News – Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Limited (EEPGL)—ExxonMobil Guyana—has in its project summary conceded that the project will, in addition to emitting additional Green House Gases into the atmosphere but can possible decimate not only the fishing industry, but could potentially impact beaches, mangroves, and wetlands as wildlife habitat.
As such, according to the company, throughout the life of the project there will be a continued threat to Guyana’s environment and marine habitat in the event of an unplanned event such as an oil spill.
This much is contained in the Project Summary for the oil company’s fifth project in Guyana Urau that will likely also incorporate the Mako location into its operations.
In outlining the potential impacts of the project it was firstly noted, that the air quality climate generally will be impacted.
It was explained that as it relates to the air and the environment “Localized, increased concentrations of criteria pollutants, in ambient air could contribute to health concerns in exposed humans and wildlife. Combustion of hydrocarbons from Project activities will contribute to GHG emissions.”
This the company said, could result from emissions from construction equipment and back-up diesel-fired power generation, emissions from operational point sources, non-routine, temporary flaring, pilot flare and other de minimis background flaring, plant emissions, fugitive emissions from construction or operations and non-routine or unplanned events.
It was noted too, that the Project has the potential to affect marine geology and sediments along in the Project Development area.
According to the Project Summary, the drilling of the wells and the installation of the subsea equipment and Floating Production Storage and Offloading Vessel to be used, will lead to the disturbance of the seabed during offshore drilling, and installation activities has the potential to affect benthic habitat and cause death/injury of benthic fauna.
The company said too, that the development could have localized impacts to marine water quality in the Project development area from discharge of drill cuttings and from routine operational and hydrotesting discharges, and that the development could also potentially impact marine water quality in the Project area of interest (AOI) as a result of non-routine, unplanned events such as a spill or release.
In such an instance, the impacts would mean an increase in total suspended solids concentrations, chemical concentrations, or temperature in water column that has a potential to affect marine water quality and marine habitat quality and affect wildlife.
Additionally the company said while the development is not expected to impact beaches, mangroves, or wetlands in the Project AOI during routine, planned operations and activities, “the development could potentially impact beaches, mangroves, and wetland habitats in Project AOI as a result of non-routine, unplanned events such as an oil spill or release.
According to ExxonMobil Guyana, “an unplanned event could potentially impact beaches, mangroves, and wetlands as wildlife habitat, or could result in declines in fisheries productivity, and/or affect other ecosystem services,” such as flood control.
As it relates to the coastal wildlife, it was noted that an “unplanned event could potentially impact coastal wildlife including chronic sub-lethal effects such as decreased vigor or reproductive impacts from direct exposure or ingestion of contaminated prey items.
As it relates to marine life such as fish, turtles and other marine mammals, the company said, “Potential auditory injury to or disturbance of marine organisms from Project-related noise could occur.”
It said too that, potential injury/mortality of marine mammals or marine turtles from collisions with Project-related vessel traffic may occur and that there could be minor potential impacts from decreased water quality on all taxa could occur from changes in water quality in the AOI. Additionally, Entrainment of early life stages of fish, and potential trophic (ecology) effects associated with concentration of prey species around artificial lights could occur.
It noted too, that non-routine or unplanned events such as an oil spill or release could potentially cause a range of effects from acute and or chronic sub-lethal toxic effects to mortality throughout the indirect AOI depending on the magnitude of the event.
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