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EPA already doing live monitoring of Exxon for oil spills, flaring – VP Jagdeo

…says Govt committed to further capacity building

Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo

While committing that the Government will continue to build the capacity of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo has clarified that the Government is currently doing live monitoring of oil operations in the Stabroek Block.
During his recent press conference, the Vice President spoke of the EPA and its ability to monitor oil and gas. He acknowledged that more could be done to build capacity. But when it comes to the work that has already been done, Jagdeo noted that EPA has independent satellite monitoring in place.
“We need to build capacity in the EPA. And that’s precisely what we’re doing. However, I want to refer to what the Head of the EPA has said publicly – that we have independent satellite monitoring now to detect any sheen in the water, so that even small quantities of oil leak can be detected, because of high-resolution satellite imaging. We have thermal imaging now, to detect any flare. So, if there’s flaring done, we’ll detect it,” Jagdeo said.

An example of the Crow’s Nest technology

The Vice President’s mention of satellite monitoring is likely a reference to the Monitoring Recording Verification System (MRVS). According to him, the Government has strengthened and will continue to strengthen the EPA’s capacity.
“There is a live feed for discharge water. And that they do independent samples of the water, to be discharged. They test it, to ensure that the water meets the standards that are outlined in the Environmental Permits that they’ve received.
“And we’ve strengthened those standards and they’re international standards. Notwithstanding all of that, we need to continue building capacity at the EPA and in Government itself, independent capacity. So, I agree,” Jagdeo further added.
Last year, the Government partnered with MAXAR Technologies in a three-year deal to provide Guyana with satellite capabilities to monitor oil and gas vessels operating offshore. The deal had marked the first time the company rolled out its Crow’s Nest technology in Latin America and the Caribbean.
The use of more technology in its regulatory duties had been among the EPA’s specific goals for last year, as well as supporting Guyana’s low carbon development trajectory, improving enforcement, incorporating the use of more technology, and effective implementing the various multilateral environmental agreements Guyana is a signatory to.
Real-time monitoring is a crucial element of regulating the oil sector. Before ExxonMobil affiliate Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Limited (EEPGL) installed its new flash gas compressor on the Liza Destiny Floating Production, Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessel and reduced its flaring in 2022, the company had had to pay out over US$10 million in fines to the EPA for flaring.
In 2021, the EPA had amended the Environmental Permit for the Liza 1 Development Project after the oil company had been flaring excessively following technical issues with its gas compressor on the Liza Destiny on two separate occasions in 2021. Initially, a cost of US$30 per ton of carbon emission was agreed upon, but the fee was then increased to US$45 during discussions with the operator over the August-September 2021 period.
EEPGL is the operator and holds 45 per cent interest in the Stabroek Block. Hess Guyana Exploration Ltd holds 30 per cent interest and CNOOC Petroleum Guyana Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of CNOOC Limited, holds the remaining 25 per cent interest.
The company is currently undertaking four production projects – Liza 1, Liza 2, and Payara (which are currently producing oil) and Yellowtail (where installation activities are ongoing) in the oil-rich block. It is estimated that when the Yellowtail development project comes on stream, production will climb to 810,000 barrels per day (bpd) by 2027. Additionally, it recently received approval for a sixth project, Whiptail.
The US oil major anticipates at least six FPSO vessels in operation by 2027.

The post EPA already doing live monitoring of Exxon for oil spills, flaring – VP Jagdeo appeared first on Guyana Times.

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