Jun 16, 2022 News
– Opposition Leader says strategy fits into “greedy” agenda of PPP/C
Kaieteur News – The strategy to ramp up oil production despite climate change warnings and the flagrant abuse of environmental standards by the major operator, ExxonMobil neatly aligns with the greedy agenda of the government of the day.
This is according to the Leader of the Opposition, Aubrey Norton. He shared this view on Tuesday during his weekly press engagement.
Norton argued that “I do not think an approach which says just take out the oil, get as much money as you can, can be the approach”.
The Leader’s sentiment comes at a time when Guyana is poised to ramp up its oil production, even as the International Energy Agency (IEA) has urged that no new oil and gas projects be pursued owing to the critical need for the global temperatures to be sustained.
Norton, in an invited comment, explained that while he believes that developing countries must be given the space to exploit their resources and grow their economies, this must be done in a sustainable manner.
“I believe that developing countries must be given the environmental space…the developed world would have had space to use the environment and achieve their objects. Now as developing countries, we need to develop as well so I believe there is some amount of environmental space that should be created, but I also believe that we have to focus on climate change and the environment generally and ensure whatever we do is sustainable,” he explained.
In this regard the Opposition Leader said there must be a different approach-one in which guarantees safety of the environment and more importantly, benefits for the present and future generations.
However, Norton argued that the ramping up of oil production seems to align with the government’s agenda, which is to siphon off the oil revenue for themselves. “We need a more measured approach…(to) ensure that production is done in a way that: one, present generations benefit but future generations benefit and are protected. So it is not a straight case of just ramping up oil production. I think the talk about ramping up oil production seems to fit in to the greed of the leadership of the People’s Progressive Party. Produce as much as you can so I could thief it now, rather than a structured approach that allows us to protect our environment, to conserve the environment and at the same time promote the development of our people,” the Opposition Leader pointed out. Back in March, Kaieteur News reported that ExxonMobil and its partners, Hess Corporation and CNOOC, are gearing to ramp up oil production at the Stabroek Block’s Liza Field as the Russia-Ukraine crisis continues to drive more supply shocks in the global oil market.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Hess Corporation, John Hess noted at the 50th Annual Scotia Howard Weil Energy Conference that the Liza Destiny, Guyana’s first floating, production, storage and offloading vessel (FPSO) is up for a planned turn around. He said this includes production optimization. Previously, Hess’ Chief Operating Officer, Greg Hill had disclosed that such works could increase the Liza Destiny’s operating capacity to the range of 140,000 barrels to 150,000 barrels of oil per day. The vessel was operating at nameplate capacity which totals 120,000 barrels of oil per day.
As for the Liza Unity, Guyana’s second FPSO which began pumping oil in February is also poised to be optimized so that it can achieve nameplate capacity of 220,000 barrels of oil per day.
According to Hess, the third ship Payara was supposed to come on-stream at 220,000 BOD, in 2024 but that has since been moved up to the fourth quarter of 2023.
A fourth project, Yellowtail, with a production capacity of approximately 250,000 gross barrels of oil per day and startup expected in 2025 was also approved. The CEO said his company continues to see potential for at least six FPSOs with a production capacity of more than 1 million gross barrels of oil per day at the Stabroek Block in 2027, with the potential for up to 10 FPSOs to develop the gross discovered recoverable resources currently estimated at more than 10 billion barrels of oil equivalent.
One environmentalist, Simone Mangal-Joly believes that the ramped up production rates are a reckless chase after money. She said it is, “A reckless rush to chase money without counting the damages and losses in other areas in the process, both in direct benefit we accrue daily, and monetary terms, is shortsighted and dangerous to all of us, including businesses and our economy as a whole.”
She explained that each time a new FPSO vessel is welcomed to Guyana, it also brings along tonnes of toxic waste that is discharged into the waters, thereby impacting our fish and other marine species. Not only this, but a tremendous amount of waste is being brought to shore for treatment and disposal, Mangal added.
The environmentalist was keen to note that the risks are not only limited to an oil spill, but the dangers extend way beyond such an event.
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