Use of gas from Liza wells raises serious questions

Dear Editor,

Where can concerned Guyanese (if any undistracted by promises of wealth) find straight talk on the use of gas from the Liza wells? The Government says it’s planning to pipe it onshore to generate thermal electricity. ExxonMobil says it’s better to re-inject it into the wells to speed oil extraction.

Does anyone ask what happens to the gas after it has pressurized the oil up the well? Is the gas then collected for liquefaction for export, or is it flared, or does it simply leak into the air? This gas is mostly methane, which is 120 times as strong as carbon dioxide at trapping heat in the atmosphere. Irresponsible handling of it can make our offshore oilfields a major contributor to global warming.

Not genuinely for Green reasons, our leadership has declared its choice to bring this dangerous gas ashore. Through a pipeline some hundred miles long, into a facility on land that can supply fuel for electricity to be distributed over a grid of wires already notoriously hard to upkeep. To be reasonably free of gas leakages, Guyana would have to develop a whole new culture of preventive systems with attention to fine detail. A new maintenance style, in 5 or 10 years? No, we’d be dependent on imported labour, with attendant financial and social costs. Or, more typically, gamble on another climate disaster.

Who is thinking about this stuff? Who cares to ask our government for answers?

Yours faithfully,

Gordon Forte

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