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ExxonMobil toxic waste will increase pressure on limited capacity of local treatment facilities - Exxon report





By Kaieteur News

Petroleumworld 11 08 2021

ExxonMobil’s subsidiary, Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Limited (EEPGL) has issued an early warning to industry stakeholders that its fourth project, being the US$9B Yellowtail development, will generate a significant volume of hazardous waste that will increase pressure on local treatment facilities that are already stretched thin.

This was noted in the company’s Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) that is undergoing a consultative process in collaboration with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). In that document, EEPGL noted that Yellowtail’s planned activities have the potential to impact waste management infrastructure capacity for current users of the Georgetown-based hazardous waste treatment facilities (primarily other oil and gas operators) and non-hazardous waste landfills (primarily the general community) due to increased burden of Project wastes on the capacity of these facilities.

The subsidiary was keen to note however that since 2019, there has been a substantial expansion of third-party commercial hazardous waste handling, storage, and treatment facilities in Georgetown. In addition, it noted the construction of a second cell at the Haags Bosch Landfill (HBL) was completed during summer 2021.

EEPGL said, continued upgrades and improvements at the HBL are ongoing while adding that there remain two additional cells at the landfill available for future development. EEPGL said each cell could extend the landfill capacity by five to six years, indicating that the landfill capacity appears reasonable for the next 10 years.

It said subsequent decisions as to further expansion of existing or new municipal waste landfills will be undertaken by the Government of Guyana with the input and support of the Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development and the EPA and participation of the public and other stakeholders.

With respect to the projected waste generation from Yellowtail, EEPGL said this represents a significant portion of the total demand for Georgetown-based hazardous waste treatment facilities. However, EEPGL said its contributions of non-hazardous solid waste volumes sent to the HBL have been averaging approximately 6 to 7 percent of the total annual volume received by the facility. With the foregoing in mind, the company warned that the viability of its operations depends on reliable access to waste management infrastructure of a sufficient quality and with sufficient capacity.

In view of this need to ensure project viability, and in recognition of the potential future capacity constraints and potential impacts on non-project users of Georgetown-based waste management infrastructure, EEPGL said it will implement several measures as it deems necessary.


Two weeks ago, Kaieteur News reported that development costs for the Yellowtail project are poised to exceed US$9B or GY$1.8 trillion.

Exxon said the costs are expected to be higher since there would be a greater number of development wells and associated drilling costs when compared to its Payara project which will also cost Guyana $1.8 trillion.

Despite the astronomical costs, Exxon believes that the project should be supported as it would generate benefits for the citizens of Guyana in several ways, which would otherwise not be there in the absence of the project. It said these benefits include revenue sharing with the Government of Guyana.

The oil giant stressed however, that the type and extent of the benefits associated with revenue sharing will depend on how decision-makers in government decide to prioritise and allocate funding for future programmes, which is unknown to the company and outside the scope of the EIA.

Apart from the revenue sharing, Exxon said Guyanese stand to benefit from the procurement process that will follow for goods and services from local businesses in alignment with the Petroleum Agreement and the EEPGL Local Content Plan approved by the Ministry of Natural Resources in June 2021.

According to project documents, Yellowtail will consist of drilling approximately 41 to 67 development wells (including production, water injection, and gas re-injection wells); installation and operation of Subsea, Umbilicals, Risers, and Flowlines equipment; installation and the operation of a Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessel in the eastern half of the Stabroek Block; and— ultimately—project decommissioning.

The FPSO will be designed to produce up to 250,000 barrels of oil per day. The initial production is expected to begin by the end of 2025–early 2026, with operations continuing for at least 20 years.

The project is expected to employ up to 540 persons during development well drilling, approximately 600 persons at the peak of the installation stage, and 100 to 140 persons during production operations.




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