Exxon still flaring, working on
reinstalling repaired compressor
Exxon flaring at its Liza Destiny operations
By Kaieteur News
Petroleumworld 03 29 2021
Yesterday marked 10 days since ExxonMobil announced that the repaired flash gas compression system for the Liza Destiny Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessel had commenced, and from its latest update, that reinstallation is yet to be completed.
The compressor was damaged in January and resulted in the company having to temporarily increase gas flaring above pilot levels in order to maintain safe operations.
The faulty compressor was then removed and sent to Germany for immediate repairs, later arriving on Guyana's shores on March 13.
In its operations update on March 15, ExxonMobil had stated that the offshore team began preparations for reinstalling key components of the flash gas compression system on the Liza Destiny “after they were safely transported offshore.”
Days later on March 17, the US oil giant said in another update, that the team was still reinstalling the flash gas compressor. It outlined that additional vibration and process-monitoring specialists were being mobilized to join the team offshore.
“Safety remains our top priority throughout this process as we take special care to maneuver these large pieces of equipment. We are also focused on the quality of the work to ensure successful re-start of the flash gas compression system,” the company said.
When a subsequent update was provided on March 19, questions were raised regarding the process for flash gas compressor's reinstallation, as the process appeared to be taking quite some time.
In response to those, ExxonMobil's Government and Public Affairs Advisor, Janelle Persaud, responded, “As stated in the last update, the team offshore is taking special care to maneuver these large pieces of equipment as they are focused on the quality of the work to ensure successful re-start of the flash gas compression system.”
The reinstallation process continued up to Tuesday as outlined in ExxonMobil's most recent operations update. It stated, “Critical equipment alignments, lifting of the suction silencer and piping into place and key operating parameter improvements are to be completed.”
And up to press time, there has been no update to indicate that the flash gas compressor has been installed. In the interim, the company continues to flare 16 million cubic feet of toxic natural gas daily because of that damaged flash gas compressor.
Kaieteur News had calculated that at 16 million cubic feet per day, the company had already flared 176 million cubic feet of natural gas 11 days after announcing that it would be flaring beyond pilot levels in January and that number continues to increase.
Dangers of flaring
Based on research, the flaring of gas is extremely damaging to the environment. A special study conducted by the World Bank notes that flaring releases more than 250 toxins, including cancer causing agents such as benzopyrene, benzene, carbon disulphide (CS2), carbonyl sulphide (COS), and toluene. It also releases metals such as mercury, arsenic, and chromium and nitrogen oxides.
Flaring is also hazardous to human health. Nigerian scientists, Omosivie Maduka and Charles Tobin-West, in a joint paper lodged with the US National Centre for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), had explained that flaring in the Niger Delta area of Nigeria has polluted the air and water, and precipitated the formation of acid rain. All of this, they said, has caused negative outcomes in the communities there, including chronic and recurrent respiratory diseases, abnormalities in the blood, increased susceptibility to certain diseases of the blood and others.
Story from Kaieteur News
kaieteuronline.com 03 25 2021
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