Exxon Flame: Shut them down and make them pay! – Melinda Janki
By Shikema Dey
Would ExxonMobil’s subsidiary Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Limited (EEPGL) raise the exorbitant cost of greenhouse gas emissions caused by its offshore torch in the Stabroek Block, or would it be Guyanese people?
This is the crucial question that industry stakeholders say is facing the nation as the social cost of such reckless endangerment of the environment is US $ 417 per tonne.
It was on this premise that International Solicitor Melinda Janki called on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to close operations at Exxon’s Lizxon Destiny oil ship and “make them pay” for the damage to Guyanese health and welfare as well as the environment. .
In an invited comment, Janki said that oil makes Guyana “poorer not richer” as evidenced daily by the “exploitative, impractical” Stabroek Block deal, that is to steal billions of dollars from current and future generations.
In addition, Janki pointed out that ExxonMobil’s financial statements reveal that it was losing money on oil, adding, that it lost approximately US $ 680 million in the third quarter of 2020 alone. Against that background, he noted that several questions need to be asked, including whether the oil giant can afford to continue operations at Liza One well.
He asked, “Are they cutting corners? Why do they use a defective compressor? What other faulty equipment have they installed? National law requires Esso to use the most appropriate technology. Are they? It doesn’t look that way. ”
He also highlighted that the Liza One Environmental Permit also stated that the company should have spare equipment available to cover any sudden deficiencies.
Article 3.13 sets out word for word, “Efforts should be made to prevent equipment breakdown and proliferation of plants that could lead to torches and provisions should be made for plant saving and plant shut down protocols where practical.”
But the provision is so vague that it does not explicitly state that a company must have “spare” equipment on hand. So it means that Guyana and the world at large are left to cope with the harrowing effects of a blaze until Exxon manages to repair the damaged compressor.
It should be noted, ExxonMobil had said that in order to continue operations at FPSO Liza One safely, it will be forced to flame gas above pilot levels due to a malfunctioning gas compressor seal. Before that, the oil company had problems with that exact compressor. However, in December last year, it was apparently stable.
That malfunction led to the flaming of over a billion cubic feet of gas for more than a year, along with the release of toxic chemicals. With the torch back again, Janki demanded that in order for Guyana’s economy, the Civic People’s Party (PPP / C) must “close Liza One immediately, conduct a full investigation, and demand full payment for the damage. ”