Govt wants ‘gas to energy’ project included in Payara contract

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The Guyana Government wants the gas to energy project included in ExxonMobil’s contract which is currently being evaluated.

With the evaluation of Bayphase’s review into the Payara Field Development Plan (FDP) complete, efforts are being made to smooth out lingering environmental issues.

Minister of Natural Resources Vickram Bharrat said “The review is completed and we have a draft license that the legal and technical team from the Department of Energy and Exxon is currently engaged in.”

“They’re meeting tomorrow (today) again. There are still issues that have to be worked through. But we already have a draft license agreement, based on the consultant’s report.”

When it comes to the gas to energy project, Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo had recently said that the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) Government is eager to make this project a reality. It would not only provide cleaner and more reliable energy for Guyana, but also cut the country’s Heavy Fuel Oil (HFO) bill.

According to Bharrat, they are looking to have this project included in the agreement.

“There are still some environmental issues we’re looking at. Issues like pumping water into the ocean. We’re trying to tie in also into the contract, the gas energy project. That is a discussion taking place as well,” he said.

Part of a US$20 million loan that the previous Government had signed with the World Bank had gone towards funding a study to examine the merits of bringing natural gas onshore for the local energy market.

Exxon itself has said that the gas that would be required for the gas-to-shore project is available. Estimates have put the figure required for the gas to shore project at 30 to 35 million cubic feet of natural gas.

But for reasons unclear, little progress was made by the previous Government on the gas to shore project. There had only been talk of a natural gas and liquid petroleum plants, with the pipe carrying the gas to shore at a location along the East Coast of Demerara (ECD) and the power being integrated into the Guyana Power and Light (GPL) system.

The Payara development plan includes a floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel, named Prosperity. It is expected to produce 220,000 barrels per day, supporting up to 45 wells, including production, water injection and gas injection wells.