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…Adams questions how Guyana will prevent flaring at multiple future FPSOs if it cannot handle just one
…urges political unity on the issue
By Lisa Hamilton
Former Environment and Protection Agency (EPA) Head, Dr. Vincent Adams has criticized the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Government for allowing ExxonMobil to convince it that flaring offshore Guyana absolutely necessary and in the interest of maintaining production.
The Alliance For Change (AFC) Executive Member said on Wednesday that the Government is being taken for a ride by the multi-billion-dollar company and, unless corrective steps are taken now, Guyana runs the risk of significantly damaging its current and future environmental goals.
“My concern is that somehow they’re getting even the Government to believe their story and their nonsense and the misinformation and the mistruths. We’ve got to understand that Exxon’s interest is in making money and our interest should be in making sure that we work in the best interest in this country,” Dr. Adams said at an APNU+AFC press conference on Wednesday.
In late January, after flaring billions of cubic feet of natural gas offshore Guyana in 2020 due to challenges, ExxonMobil again recommenced flaring above start-up levels due to a new technical issue on the Liza Destiny. Some 16 million cubic feet of gas is being flared per day.
It was last reported that the third stage FGC compressor – where the problem lies — has arrived in Germany and a visual inspection has been conducted while mechanical rework of the compressor casing has begun.
It is estimated that it will take several weeks to repair the FGC compressor even as ExxonMobil also hopes to determine whether the issues currently faced are linked to the previous issues faced in 2020.
Despite the updates, in Dr. Adams’ opinion, ExxonMobil Guyana has embarked on a public relations campaign of “confusion and misinformation” to distract from its illegal flaring.
He put forward: “If we do not nip this in the bud here and this country becomes overwhelmed with pollution then it’s not a good thing for the future generations. We cannot wait until there are ten FPSOs out there to try to bring it back in, it will be impossible. If we can’t handle it for one FPSO, how will we handle it for ten?”
He called on Guyana’s political leaders to put aside their political differences and unite on the issue of oil and gas, just as they do when it comes to the Guyana/Venezuela controversy.
“Exxon will be gone within the next 25 – 30 years and they will be leaving whatever they want to leave for us. We’ll be here forever. So, now is the time for all politicians, on both sides of the aisle to hold a united front on oil and gas just as we do on the border because I believe it’s just as important,” he said.
When ExxonMobil first encountered the issue with the FGC compressor, it was producing at an average of 130,000 barrels per day (bpd). Now the FPSO, while injecting 88 per cent of the gas produced and flaring, is producing approximately 120,000 bpd. The equipment failed since January 27, 2021.
Dr. Adams said ExxonMobil should have had spare parts on board to fix the equipment prevented flaring, instead, the media was told that equipment could only be fixed in Germany. He said that such excuses are an insult to the intelligence of Guyanese.
Ultimately, what becomes of the environmental situation lies in the hands of the Government. Dr. Adams said that the Administration cannot continue to go after the “small man” in Guyana for forms of illegality when multi-billion-dollar companies like ExxonMobil get off scotch free.