Since December 2019 to now, American oil giant, ExxonMobil has been flaring approximately 12 to 15 million cubic feet of gas aboard the Liza Destiny Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessel. It therefore means that the total amount of gas flared to date would be close to 10 billion cubic feet. The company has told members of the local media fraternity that it was forced to flare due to mechanical issues experienced with its gas compressor system for the Liza Destiny. Reports on its flaring activities are required to be submitted to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Unfortunately, these reports have to be taken in good faith by the EPA since it lacks crucial resources to independently verify or properly probe what it is being told.

Making this revelation recently during an interview on a local radio programme was EPA Director, Dr. Vincent Adams. The official said that the agency receives automatic recordings of the flaring from ExxonMobil but he was keen to note that there is no EPA official aboard the vessel for 24/7 monitoring. “…We don’t have as well, the expertise that we need to really probe some of these things. We have very limited resources and the situation with the elections has not helped because we don’t have a budget and so we can’t hire the experts we need,” the official added.

Dr. Adams also said that the EPA had planned to staff its Special Petroleum Unit with over 30 specialists this year. In light of what he explained, he noted that the agency is in a “handicapped” position.

ExxonMobil has since noted that it is aggressively working to bring the matter under control. One measure it has since taken to keep flaring under 20 million cubic feet of gas per day is to keep production between 80,000 to 90,000 barrels.


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