The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in Guyana says all requirements for which it has responsibility have been met by ExxonMobil Guyana for the 220,000 bpd Liza Phase 2 Development Project.
Executive Director of the EPA, Dr. Vincent Adams, told OilNOW on Tuesday that as a result of extensive discussions with the company, the agency’s concerns were addressed, and as such, all environmental requirements were met for the project.
“It’s been several months that we’ve been evaluating and discussing and negotiating with ExxonMobil Guyana and they’ve met all the requirements as far as the EPA is concerned,” he said.
Neither the ExxonMobil-led consortium exploring in the Stabroek Block nor Guyana’s Department of Energy have yet confirmed that final approval to move forward with the project has been granted. However, OilNOW understands that an announcement could come within days.
The EPA had been in discussions with ExxonMobil Guyana regarding the company meeting local insurance requirements that would allow for coverage in the event of an oil spill or accident related to its operations offshore. The discussions, as well as the review of the field development plans by the Department of Energy, had delayed final approval for the Liza Phase 2 Development project.
“We were just ensuring that there was adequate coverage and the coverage had to have been at the highest level of what’s expected internationally,” Dr. Adams said.
He told OilNOW in March that the insurance issue had been ironed out after an Environmental Permit was granted for exploration drilling at the Yellowtail-1 well, where the company’s 13th discovery has since been made. “We will use the same language for the insurance for Liza Phase 2 which we used for Yellowtail. This language will be used for granting all permits offshore,” he stated.
In November 2008, the EPA approved the final Environmental Impact Assessment Reportfor Liza Phase 2, which covers development of production facilities in the Stabroek License Area located approximately 183 kilometers (114 miles) northeast of the coastline of Georgetown.
The EPA said at the time its decision was based on the Agency being satisfied that the EIA conforms to the relevant local and international guidelines and policies to ensure sound environmental management for this specific project. The Agency also considered and found the proposed measures in the EIA and Environmental Management Plan reasonable to protect human health and environment.
The Liza Phase 2 Project will include land-based support facilities such as pipe yards and bonds, drilling of subsea development wells and use of up to two drill ships. A floating production, storage and offloading vessel (FPSO) will be moored and connected to the wells for production and will have the capacity to produce approximately 190,000 – 220, 000 barrels of oil per day.
SBM Offshore has been awarded contracts by ExxonMobil to perform Front End Engineering and Design (FEED) for the Liza Phase 2 FPSO. The company is already building the Liza Destiny floater for Phase 1 of the project.
ExxonMobil Guyana has said the Liza Phase 2 project is on track for production startup in 2022 while Liza Phase 1 is expected to bring first oil for Guyana by 2020, or potentially Q4 2019, since all preparations are ahead of schedule.