EPA monitoring flaring levels via satellite

EPA monitoring flaring levels via satellite

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has started the use of  an Independent Satellite monitoring  system that is allowing the agency to monitor flaring levels and the amount of produced water being dumped into the ocean by oil companies operating offshore Guyana.

In a release this afternoon, the country’s environmental watchdog said it has been monitoring the Produced Formation Water (PFW), which contain some chemical characteristics. The water which is water trapped in underground formations is brought to the surface during oil and gas extraction and then dumped back into the ocean by oil companies.

“The EPA would never allow any discharges that could be described as “hot, greasy water” from ever occurring in Guyanese waters. Our requirement is that any impacts have to be well within acceptable levels and as low as reasonably practicable. We use continuous independent satellite monitoring to detect even the slightest oil sheen on the waters and thermal imaging to detect every gas flaring.  We ensure that our standards are being met every day.” The EPA said in its statement today.

The EPA requires that PFW meets certain regulations.

One such regulation states that any discharge to the sea after treatment must have an oil content that does not exceed 15 mg/L (parts per million), with a maximum measurement on any day of 42 mg/L and a monthly average of less than 29 mg/L. The temperature of the discharge must not exceed three (3) degrees Celsius of the ambient (surrounding) seawater temperature within 100 meters radius of the discharge point.

“Despite these low risks, the EPA is committed to leading practice management of PFW in the Guyana EEZ.  We receive live feed of the PFW releases from the FPSOs and monitor those constantly. We also undertake independent sampling of water quality to ensure that our standards are met.” The EPA quoted its executive Director, Khemraj Parsaram as saying.

The EPA said despite its close oversight, it is committed to increasing it’s monitoring of discharges from the FPSOs and developing an independent review of the monitoring data with the help of international experts.

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