One day after ExxonMobil Guyana Executives announced that the company’s increased flaring exercise is continuing because of a damaged compressor aboard the Liza Destiny oil production vessel, Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo said it is unacceptable for the flaring to be taking place.
In the oil industry, flaring refers to the burning and release of natural gas during oil production. It is an exercise that is scorned by environmentalists who believe it damages the environment.
During a press conference this afternoon, Vice President Jagdeo said the government and the Environmental Protection Agency have been paying close attention to the problem.
“We are still in the middle of dealing with this issue but as I have said before, if they continue flaring at this rate, that allowance expires at the end of April and therefore, by June of next year, they have to come under the Payara permit”, Mr. Jagdeo said.
He explained that based on the research of the Environmental Protection Agency, the current level of flaring by Exxon is emitting about 1300 tonnes of carbon per day.
According to the Vice President, the Liza 1 oil production agreement allows Exxon to flare up to 14 billion cubic feet of gas.
He said at the current level, Exxon could reach that allowance within the next two months. Mr. Jagdeo said once the Liza 1 agreement expires next year, the other agreement will carry fines for flaring in keeping with the agreement that was signed for the Payara development.
The ExxonMobil company has expressed its worry about the situation and its President has indicated that all steps are being taken to correct the problem that developed. The damaged compressor has since been sent to Germany for repairs, as flaring continues.
The company is still continuing production at a level of 120,000 barrels of oil per day. It was reduced by 10,000 after the damage to the compressor was found.