Gas-to-shore: project Guyana has an opportunity to make economic diversification a reality – Routledge
…confident of Private Sector’s ingenuity
The Guyana Government’s premier project of piping natural gas from production activities in the Stabroek Block to shore provides an opportunity to make the country’s economic diversification a reality.
This is according to President of ExxonMobil Guyana, Alistair Routledge. The United States oil giant is currently leading operations offshore Guyana, where oil production started in December 2019.
Routledge was at the time speaking about the role of the “Private Sector in the Future of Energy” at the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s (GCCI) 132nd Annual Awards Ceremony and Gala on Thursday evening.
He posited that Guyana’s Private Sector will play a pivotal role in the development of the country’s energy sector. According to the ExxonMobil Guyana Head, one of the most important trends in this regard is energy diversification, which he said will make the country’s economic diversification possible.
“The Private Sector, including ExxonMobil Guyana, will be central to this initiative. From finding and producing the gas, to building the pipeline that will bring it to shore, we are deeply invested in a cleaner more affordable energy future in Guyana… By bringing the energy to shore, and adding additional sources of energy, Guyana has the opportunity to make economic diversification a reality. The most straightforward path to this outcome is to tap into the power of the Private Sector to assess investment opportunities and find creative solutions to business challenges,” Routledge asserted.
He went on to outline that modern economies run on energy, which comes from a wide variety of sources. Referencing the recently revised Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS), Routledge noted the Guyana Government has enlisted the Private Sector in the great mission of delivering more energy at cheaper prices, producing less emissions with the gas-to-energy project and others like the Amaila Falls Hydropower project.
As such, he advised that the local Private Sector use this opportunity to build capacity, capability and experience for long term international competitiveness.
“The Private Sector has seized multiple opportunities and should continue to be bold in its planning. The foundation for sustained growth in the energy sector and beyond is solid,” he stated.
But even as Guyana pursues the gas-to-energy project, the ExxonMobil Guyana Head pointed out that the oil company’s Ogle, East Coast Demerara office is being constructed with net zero energy footprint powered by solar. He said the solar array will help to generate surplus electricity, which will be dispatched to the power grid in Georgetown, consistent with Guyana’s Low Carbon Development Strategy.
On a corporate level, Routledge disclosed that ExxonMobil announced a Low Carbon Solutions business to commercialise its extensive low-carbon technology portfolio, which is initially focused on Carbon Capture and Storage, advancing plans for multiple new opportunities around the world to enable large-scale greenhouse gas emission reductions.
“Over time, the business will include other technologies, including biofuels and hydrogen, as they mature to commercialisation. Already, we have captured more CO2 from human activity than any other company in the world. Our experience, expertise and ability to scale up technology give us a competitive advantage in what is expected to be a fast-growing market, which Guyana could tap into,” he stated.
Moreover, he reminded of ExxonMobil’s recently announced plans to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions from operated assets in the US Permian Basin by 2030, accelerating and expanding emission-reduction plans for unconventional operations in New Mexico and Texas.
Routledge said these are part of the corporate-wide effort to reduce upstream greenhouse gas emissions intensity by 40-50 per cent by 2030. He added that they further demonstrate the company’s commitment and support for a lower-emissions future across its global business including Guyana.
The US$900 gas-to-shore project is a game-changing initiative that would see gas from the Liza Field offshore Guyana being pumped onshore to generate power by 2024. The main objective of the initiative is to transport sufficient gas from the Stabroek Block’s petroleum operations to supply some 200-250 megawatts of energy to the national grid, leading to a significant reduction in electricity costs.
The Government has already issued an order to compulsorily acquire land that would be used to construct the gas-to-shore project and lay the gas pipeline from Nouvelle Flanders on the West Coast of Demerara (WCD) to Canal Number One Public Road on the West Bank of Demerara (WBD).
Earlier this week, while addressing the Harvard Microeconomics workshop, President Dr Irfaan Ali said with the gas-to-shore project on stream, Guyana’s energy capacity is likely to exceed energy demand.
“We’ve launched our gas-to-energy project. Earlier, I outlined to you how important energy is in terms of our competitiveness. So, the gas-to-shore energy project would use associated natural gas produced offshore Guyana, starting with Liza 1, then Liza 2, and Payara,” he explained.
“The natural gas production is expected to exceed the country’s current demand. More major investment opportunities will become available for the use of natural gas. As a result of this, we’re in the process of building an Industrial Development Authority in Wales,” the President said.
This excess energy, according to the President, would be used to power additional industries. The Wales Industrial Zone, he explained, would facilitate new industries, including fertiliser production for the agriculture sector with the intention of supplying the Caribbean. (G8)