ExxonMobil has to pay for excess gas flaring due to faulty equipment

The ExxonMobil-controlled consortium of Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Limited (EEPGL) now has to pay US$30 per tonne of Carbon Dioxide Equivalent (CO 2 e), following an amendment of the Environmental Permit for the Liza Phase One project, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said Thursday.

The decision to include a penalty in the permit comes against the background of “intermittent” excess flaring from the Floating Production, Storage and Offloading vessel, Liza Destiny,  dating back to December 2019 and again in recent months due to faults with the flash gas compressor, which has since been repaired and reinstalled, and the discharge silencer which developed problems in April. ExxonMobil has said the discharge silencer could be fixed by July, 2021.

“The Modified Environmental Permit includes revised terms and conditions relating to emissions reporting requirements, technical considerations for flaring, timelines for flaring events and an obligation on the company to pay for the emission of Carbon Dioxide equivalent (CO2e) as a result of flaring in excess of these timelines,” the EPA said in a statement.

The modified permit was signed by EEPGL and EPA representatives and issued to the company on Thursday.  No details were provided and there was no idea whether the permit will be applied retroactively to penalise the company for excess gas that has already been flared.  The modified permit was only referred to on the EPA’s website, but it was not available.

The EPA said the permot was “recalled and modified to include specific regulatory requirements for flaring of associated gas offshore Guyana, in  accordance with the EPA’s legislation.”

The EPA said EEPGL was projected to exceed the 14 Billion Standard Cubic Feet (Bcf) of gas estimated to be flared by the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for the project on May 13, 2021.

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