US$900M Gas-to-shore in Guyana, oil projects will significantly impact marine resources
By Kaieteur News
Petroleumworld 11 16 2021
While the Peoples’ Progressive Party Civic (PPP/C) Government appears preoccupied with the revenues to be had from various ExxonMobil-led projects, a key report from the American multinational has warned that there will be significant impact on the nation’s marine resources, due to the cumulative impact of those oil related activities.
This disclosure was made in the project documents for the Yellowtail development in the Stabroek Block, operated by ExxonMobil’s subsidiary, Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Limited (EEPGL).
The report which formed the premise for the recently concluded countrywide consultations on the Yellowtail development, noted that there are several exploration and development activities planned or are already in operation by EEPGL.
These include the US$3.5B Liza Phase I Development, the US$6B Liza Phase II Development, and the US$9B Payara Development projects.
EEPGL said, it is continuing with a rapid exploration drilling programme in the Stabroek Block alongside works on its fiber optic cable installation project, an onshore Guyana Office Campus, and the US$900M Gas to Energy Project.
It is also poised to drill 24 wells across the Kaieteur and Canje blocks which border the Stabroek concession.
Additionally, EEPGL said there are three other oil and gas operators that are planning exploration programmes in blocks adjacent to the Stabroek Block.
With this in mind, EEPGL said its planned together with the other operators could cumulatively, have a significant impact on some resources.
It said, these impacts include but are not limited to, air quality and climate via increased emissions of greenhouse gases and other pollutants, marine water quality via the discharge of drill cuttings and associated increases in other water borne articles, special status fish via changes in distribution due to altered water quality, special status seabirds via attraction to offshore facilities or disturbance from project activities, marine mammals via vessel strikes, special status marine turtles, “marine fish via degraded water quality”, riverine mammals via behavioral changes or displacement as a result of increased vessel traffic within Georgetown Harbour, and ecological balance and ecosystems via introduction of invasive species via ballast water discharges.
It said too that the oil related activities will result in changes in marine nutrient cycle, resulting in localized and temporary changes in phytoplankton (a type of microalgae) species distribution, and impacts on gene flow.
In spite of the foregoing, EEPGL said citizens and local authorities ought to be assured that the project will adopt a number of embedded controls, mitigation measures, and management plans.
The ExxonMobil subsidiary said, these are considered sufficient to address the contributions of the project to cumulative impacts.
According to project documents, the Yellowtail Project is expected to cost Guyana over G$1.8T.
It is expected to 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.
Initial production is expected to begin by the end of 2025 or 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.
Over the last two weeks, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has held several meetings with stakeholders to explain the workings of the project. These discussions were started after the nation had a mere 10 days to digest over 7000 pages of technical data on the project.
Today is the last day for persons to submit any commentary on the project to the EPA.