Nov 01, 2022 News
Kaieteur News – The Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA) for Liza Destiny and Liza Unity Floating, Production, Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessels are clear about the production safety limits for each ship.
For the Liza Destiny, the safety limit is 120,000 barrels of oil per day and for the Liza Unity, it is 220,000 barrels of oil per day.
Head of ExxonMobil Corporation, Darren Woods recently admitted that these two vessels are operating beyond those limits. During his company’s recent third quarter earnings call, he told shareholders that the ships are producing a combined average of 360,000 barrels of oil per day.
Data produced by the Ministry of Natural Resources show that production was at its highest in September, hitting 391,980 barrels. In fact, production for the Liza Destiny was at 150,000 barrels while the remainder was pulled from the Liza Unity FPSO.
Upon taking note of this accelerated production, former Head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Dr. Vincent Adams, said the American oil giant is not only slaughtering the safety limits or making a mockery of it in the name of greed, but is taking advantage of the Government.
Dr. Adams during a recent interview with Kaieteur News said when an Environmental Impact Assessment is done prior to oil production operations commencing, it explains clearly what would be the safe limit of production the oil companies will abide by. He said too that this number is used to generate oil spill scenarios for the Government’s regulatory arm to consider. When the goalpost is shifted by going beyond the safety limit, Dr. Adams said it is commonsense that the EIA would be properly updated to reflect the new risks that come with increased production numbers.
Dr. Adams said, “Exxon has clearly invalidated the EIA and I say that because the purpose of the EIA is to set the safety production limit and now that limit has been exceeded or violated without a proper review process…the maximum limit for the Liza Destiny was 120,000 barrels per day. They are now at over 150,000 barrels, a 25 percent increase and that is unheard of.”
When told that the company has said it has engaged in ‘debottlenecking exercises’ to allow for the increase, Dr. Adams said this too is absolute nonsense. He said Exxon’s Executives use such jargons as a mask for their unconscionable pursuit of obscene profits.
Dr. Adams said, “They are using this debottlenecking jargon to intimidate and confuse because they know most Guyanese don’t know fully what this type of lingo means. That terminology means that they widen the piping system and other equipment to increase the production. They try to make it seem that this is some industry norm but it is not. They can’t pull this nonsense in the USA- I know that for a fact.”
The former EPA Head added, “I do believe that they know the right thing but they are without a conscience and ruthlessly taking advantage of an abysmal EPA and weak Government. The EPA is being paid to be our protector but they are obviously intimidated by Exxon, does whatever they want.”
Given the extent to which Exxon is able to have its way with its drilling programmes, Dr. Adams said one can easily conclude that it is the American oil giant that is running the EPA and probably even the Government. He said no matter how fast the company wants to go, Government willingly complies.
The former EPA Head said he is by no means surprised that Exxon’s affiliate, Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Limited (EEPGL) is moving at break neck speed in the Stabroek Block since the Government has allowed it to continue production without having a parent guarantee in hand for oil spills.
Looking ahead, Dr. Adams said it is imperative that the EPA and Government by extension face the nation and explain why they have allowed Exxon to violate the EIA, a most sacred document that imposes key guardrails for protection of the environment.
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