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The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has recalled and modified the Environmental Permit for the Liza 1 Development Project to include specific regulatory requirements for the flaring of associated gas offshore Guyana.
As a result, in accordance with the EPA’s legislation, ExxonMobil will have to pay US$30 per tonne of Carbon Dioxide equivalent (CO2e) emission as a result of flaring in excess of their previously stipulated limit.
In a statement on Thursday, the EPA pointed out that ExxonMobil’s subsidiary, Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Limited (EEPGL), is projected to exceed the 14 Billion Standard Cubic Feet (Bcf) of gas previously estimated to be flared by the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for the project
The oil and gas company has been flaring at above start-up levels offshore Guyana since the malfunctioning of its third stage flash gas compression system and its discharge silencer. The former has been repaired but installation will not be completed until the end of the year, while the latter is still being repaired.
As a result, the Company stated that flaring at above-startup levels will continue until the repairs and replacements are made. Flare levels were reported to be at or below 15 million standard cubic feet per day (mscfd).
Before then, the EPA said that there were intermittent periods of flaring since December 2019.
“In light of the foregoing, EPA and EEPGL have been engaged in discussions regarding the technical and legal issues regarding modifications to address flaring,” the EPA stated in the release.
“On May 13, 2021, the Modified Permit was issued to EEPGL having been signed by both EEPGL and EPA. 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 aforementioned payment shall be paid to the EPA and calculated at the rate of US$30 per tonne of CO2e.”
The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) raised concerns back in January that EEPGL is undercutting Guyana’s “green image” making it more difficult for the country to promote and build a sustainable, low-carbon economy.
Flaring releases greenhouse gases and toxins, and threatens the global climate, the local environment, and public health.