–level of production at Liza Destiny remains at 100,000-110,000 barrels per day
THE defective discharge silencer, a critical component of the recently re-installed flash-gas compressor aboard the Liza Destiny Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessel, has been exported for repairs and upgrades, as work continues to return operations to normal levels.
ExxonMobil’s Public and Government Affairs Adviser, Janelle Persaud, in an invited comment on Monday, said that the defective contraption was sent to Houston, Texas, United States of America (U.S.) for the necessary repairs and upgrades.
A discharge silencer is used to attenuate noise produced by the expansion of air, steam or gas at elevated pressure to atmospheric pressure.
As a result of the damaged discharge silencer, production at the Liza Destiny was initially reduced significantly, moving from 120,000 barrels to 30,000 per day, a decrease of 90,000 barrels.
But, amid the ongoing repairs, the company has started to ramp up production, which has since moved from 30,000 barrels of oil per day to between 100,000 and 110,000 barrels per day, at a flare level of no more than 15 million standard cubic feet of gas per day (Mscfd).
When asked about the production level, Persaud said: “Production/flare level remains the same, as last communicated.”
Those operating parameters, according to the company, were defined after careful consideration of safety, environmental, technical and economic factors, as well as discussions with the relevant government agencies on the best path forward, while repairs and upgrades are ongoing.
“ExxonMobil Guyana is extremely disappointed by these ongoing technical challenges, but we are proud of the team offshore that continues to work safely and manage operations efficiently during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Persaud had said, adding that the company will continue to work with the relevant parties to rectify the situation as soon as possible.
Despite the challenges facing the company, Guyana’s sixth oil lift was unaffected, as it was safely and successfully completed recently, at planned quantity, and in keeping with the Crude Lifting Agreement and lifting schedule.
Lifts are done every eight to nine days, and, with production levels low, there were concerns that the operator would not meet the quota of just about one million barrels within the expected time.
Considering the challenges created by the defective equipment, Minister of Natural Resources, Vickram Bharrat had said that ExxonMobil’s local subsidiary, Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Limited (EEPGL), will replace the manufacturer of the compressor equipment, to ensure there is no flaring during future projects.
It was reported that Minister Bharrat said the government took decisive action to effect this change, due to the constant flaring at the Liza Destiny FPSO vessel.
“This now has forced us to enter into engagements with Exxon to ensure that the Unity FPSO that is coming later in this year, and then Prosperity in early 2024, that we don’t have this issue with those FPSOs.
“So, we have gotten that assurance that General Electric will be used as the manufacturer to ensure that the compressor, there is not a recurring problem on those FPSOs with the gas compressor,” Minister Bharrat related.
According to a report from the Department of Public Information (DPI), General Electric is a U.S. multi-national company.
ExxonMobil had contracted German company, MAN Energy Solutions, to supply the compressor equipment for the Liza Destiny. That company, however, failed to correct the challenges encountered on the equipment used on the Liza Destiny, which have plagued the company’s operations since the beginning of oil production here. The minister said the adjustment was needed since both the Liza Unity and Prosperity are each designed to produce 220,000 barrels of oil per day; almost twice the amount of the Liza Destiny. Minister Bharrat said the tovernment has maintained daily contact with ExxonMobil to ensure that a swift resolution is reached for the challenges on the Liza Destiny. “It is not something that the Government of Guyana wants. It is not something that we will tolerate. It is not something I believe that Exxon-EEPGL wants either because it is affecting production and worse yet, it is causing damage to the environment by the flaring of gas,” the minister said, adding that ExxonMobil has been given a timeframe of two to three months to complete repairs.