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30 Guyanese stakeholders write Exxon's shareholders on threats of Liza 1 issues

Stabroek News

Liza Destiny operating in the Stabroek Block.

By Kaieteur News

Petroleumworld 06 21 2021

More than 30 Guyanese stakeholders have written to ExxonMobil Corporation's shareholders informing them of the mechanical issues that have lead to over 14 billion standard cubic feet of gas being flared at the Liza Phase One operations in the Stabroek Block.

In a missive to the press, the local stakeholders noted that the Exxon shareholders should demand an updated risk assessment following the use of faulty equipment on the Liza Destiny vessel and warned that a well blowout could be economically and environmentally catastrophic – with a comparable impact on shareholder investments in Exxon.

The signatories to the letter include activist, Ramon Gaskin; Chartered Accountant and former Auditor-General of Guyana, Anand Goolsarran; Fred Collins, President of Transparency Institute Guyana Inc.; and Gerald Perreira of the Organisation for the Victory of the People. Other activists and stakeholders from academia, science, engineering, religious, business backgrounds have also joined the letter for action.

It was also endorsed by over 60 international organisations and individuals from Brazil, Canada, Costa Rica, Mexico, Puerto Rico, the United States of America, Ghana, Kenya, Namibia, Nigeria, Zambia, the Philippines, India, France, Germany, Ireland, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, United Kingdom.

The letter was specifically addressed to The Coalition United for a Responsible Exxon (CURE) which represents a global spectrum of stakeholders focused on sustainability and committed to delivering long-term returns that account for the realities of a changing climate and energy sector. As of March 3, 2021, CURE brings together over 145 institutional members, who collectively represent approximately US$2.4 trillion in assets.

The letter to the CURE Exxon shareholders concludes with a request for action stating, “In light of the threats to Guyana, the Caribbean, the global climate, and the corresponding risk to the value of your investments in Exxon, we urge you to ask Exxon to disclose promptly and publicly:

(1) The financial guarantees and assurances that Exxon has in place to cover the enormous response, recovery and remediation costs from an unplanned event such as a well blowout;

(2) An updated risk assessment in light of Exxon's use of faulty equipment and failure to follow proper procedures;

(3) A risk mitigation strategy for a well blowout updated in light of the above systemic failures;
4) An updated oil spill response plan in light of Guyana's continuing limited ability to take action to mitigate the impact of a well blow out; and

(5) The total amount of gas that Exxon has flared since first oil.”

Furthermore, the letter includes a map from the Payara Environmental Impact Assessment showing that an unmitigated release of 202, 192 barrels of oil per day over 30 days could reach as far as Jamaica. The letter also reminds the Exxon shareholders that the BP Macondo well blowout cost BP over US$65 billion.

International Attorney-at-Law, Melinda Janki, who also signed the letter, said, “Exxon's shareholders, the people who own Exxon, say that Exxon's strategy is out dated and that the board under-estimates the scale of the energy transition. The financial institutions, the people who lend the money, are pulling out of fossil fuels. And yet, Guyana's tiny business sector is looking backwards and trying to buck global market trends. That way lies bankruptcy and big bills for Guyanese taxpayers.”

She added, “The business sector should be looking to the future and leading Guyana's transformation to cheap and virtually unlimited renewable energy for everybody.”

The Guyana letter was sent to Andrew Behar of As You Sow, an Exxon shareholder, who sent it to the CURE Exxon group on the day of the ExxonMobil Annual General Meeting some weeks ago.

Story from Kaieteur News
06 20 2021

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