May 20, 2022 News
Kaieteur News – Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Limited (EEPGL)—ExxonMobil Guyana is moving apace in pursuing its fifth development in the Stabroek Block, namely the Urau 1 development.
This is in addition to the Liza 1 and II operations, already producing oil, the Payara and Yellowtail Developments.
Like the previous developments, the company was required to submit to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) a Project Summary for consideration and in that document, the company has outlined some of the possible impacts to be had as a result of the development of the project. According to that document, as it relates to the impacts outside of those that threaten the environment and marine life, such as the fishing industry, there will likely be an ‘’increased demand for limited emergency and health services in Guyana.”
This in addition to, “…a slight increased risk of communicable disease transmission (that) could potentially result from Project activities and influence community health and wellbeing.”
According to the company, these risks come about since the “introduction of limited levels of
foreign specialized labour could potentially have community health and wellbeing impacts.”
The foreign specialized labour referred to are commonly referred to as expatriate workers and according to the Project Summary, the development could potentially impact community health wellbeing in the Project’s Area of Interest (AOI) due to onshore traffic and social interaction among other factors.
Other likely risks highlighted by EEPGL in its Project Document that are likely to impact humans directly, as outlined in the Project Document while direct and indirect employment for the Project will enhance livelihoods and family incomes, it could result in some competition with other businesses for skilled workers.
Additionally, “…marine safety exclusion zones for the FPSO, drill ship, and major installation vessels, and Project-related vessel traffic could potentially interfere with fishing activities in certain areas.”
Also highlighted in the document was the fact that another potential adverse impact from the project relates to increased marine-related traffic, which could potentially contribute to marine vessel congestion in near shore or port areas.
According to EEPGL, “Increased vessel traffic could result in localized potential congestion near shorebase and marine safety exclusion zones around the FPSO, drill ship, and major installation vessels will restrict access by unauthorised vessels.”
The document conceded too “the development will use public infrastructure and services and thus could potentially compete with other existing businesses and consumers across a range of services—roads, accommodation, and utilities—the development may result in increased vehicular traffic in Georgetown, which could potentially contribute to vehicular congestion in certain areas.”
It was noted too that, “increased demand for public infrastructure, services, and housing by the Project workforce could influence the availability of these services.”
As it relates to its waste disposal and management, the document concedes too that The Project could potentially stress the capacity to manage wastes in Guyana.
According to EEPGL, “If the capacity in Guyana to properly treat, store, or dispose of waste is overburdened by Project demands, this could affect the ability to properly accommodate treatment, storage, or disposal needs by other parties.”
The document was prepared for EEPGL by Michael B. Persaud, Environmental, Regulatory, and Socioeconomic Manager with ExxonMobil.
Oil production from Uaru Development Project is expected to last approximately 20 to 30 years. EEPGL says it plans to drill approximately 40 to 76 wells offshore to support extraction of the oil from below the sea floor.
The company in describing the proposed operation said it intends to install some of the oil production facilities on the sea floor at approximately 1,450 – 1,950 m water depth.
“These subsea facilities include various types of pipes and hardware. The subsea facilities allow the oil from the wells to be gathered and moved to the surface of the ocean for further processing.”
It was noted too that EEPGL will install other oil production facilities on a vessel which floats on the surface of the ocean namely the FPSO that will be moored on location in approximately 1,690 metres of water depth and will remain on location throughout the production stage.
Oil production facilities on the FPSO will further process the oil extracted from below the sea floor. The FPSO will have the peak capacity to produce up to approximately 220,000 barrels to 275,000 barrels of oil per day.
Processed oil will be stored in cargo tanks inside the FPSO hull which have the capacity to hold approximately 2 million barrels of oil.
The document said, during peak production, approximately every four days, the oil will be pumped from the FPSO to a conventional oil tanker, which is owned or operated by third parties. EEPGL noted too that it will utilize onshore support facilities to support drilling the wells, installing the offshore production facilities, and operating the offshore production facilities.
“This will include but is not limited to shore bases, warehouses, storage and pipe yards, fabrication facilities, fuel supply facilities, and waste management facilities in Guyana.”
At peak, EEPGL will utilize approximately 1,200 personnel offshore during the stage where the wells are being drilled and the offshore oil production facilities are being installed. This number will decrease to less than 200 personnel during the production phase. A smaller number of personnel will be utilized at the onshore support facilities.
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