— EPA finds projects not particularly harmful to environment
ESSO Exploration and Production Guyana Limited (EEPGL), a subsidiary of ExxonMobil, has applied to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for the authorisation to explore 31 wells in three oil blocks offshore Guyana.
A notice published by the EPA, on Tuesday, indicated that the projects include a 25- well exploration programme in the Stabroek Block; a 3-well exploration programme in Kaieteur Block and a 3-well exploration programme in Canje Block. The EPA has screened each application and found that they will not significantly affect the environment and are therefore exempt from the requirement of an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA).
However, EEPGL will have to present an Environmental Assessment and Management Plan for the projects. “The Environmental Assessment and Management Plan will assess any possible impacts to the environment and, or, human health, and detail specific mitigation measures to be undertaken to ensure that the proposed project is implemented in an environmentally-sound and sustainable manner,” the notice stated.
Earlier in November, Exxon Mobil had noted that its value position in Guyana had increased and it was considering its undrilled potential. Upon completion of operations at Tripletail, the Noble Tom Madden drillship will next drill the Uaru-1 well, located approximately six miles east of the Liza field.
Exxon also announced that two other wells were planned. These are the Hassa-1, also to be drilled by the Noble Tom Madden, and the Mako-1 well to be drilled by the Noble Don Taylor. The explorations have been labelled as “near term” and fall with Exxon’s short-term drilling outlook.
“We are making excellent progress on our long-term growth strategy,” ExxonMobil Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Darren W. Woods said during a presentation. “…we are ahead of schedule for first oil in Guyana. The value of our position in Guyana improved further this quarter with an additional discovery, our fourth this year.”
In the Canje Block, ExxonMobil holds a 35 per cent interest; in the Kaieteur Block it owns 35 per cent and in Stabroek, 45 per cent. This will be the first wells to be drilled by Exxon in the Canje and Kaieteur Blocks by ExxonMobil. The company has already had 14 discoveries in the Stabroek Block.
The discovery adds to the previously announced estimated recoverable resource of more than 6 billion oil-equivalent barrels. This month, the oil giant is working towards ‘first oil’ in the Liza Phase 1 Development Project which is expected to generate over $7B in royalty and profit oil revenues for Guyana over the life of the project. In accordance with the Environmental Protection Agency Act and Environmental Protection (Authorisations) Regulations, any person who may be affected by the project has been invited, by the agency, to lodge an appeal against the Agency’s decision to the Environmental Assessment Board, within 30 days.