The fiber optic cable which will allow Guyana to monitor Exxon’s operations offshore is expected to be laid by the third quarter of 2021, so that Guyana can monitor ExxonMobil’s producing Liza Phase One operations.
ExxonMobil’s subsidiary, Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Limited (EEPGL), according to a project summary published by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), “proposes to construct the Project starting in Q4 2020) and ending in Q3 2021…”
No cost is mentioned in the document.
It is understood that the company’s intended high-speed fiber optic/wireless transport service will connect its onshore and offshore facilities.
The summary states, “This connection will establish a foundation for high-speed / low latency connectivity of onshore and offshore facilities to Guyana foundation infrastructure, allowing implementation of digital technology to improve productivity (field access data and planning), support remote operations, and support reliability (process monitoring and inspection).”
It is understood that the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) will make use of this facility to monitor Exxon’s offshore operations. The tax agency had said last year that it would have a CCTV system set up, following the installation of a fiber optic cable. This will allow the authority to see what is happening at the operation 24/7.
The agency has had to rely heavily on vessels which come to shore, for whatever reason, to report on what’s happening offshore, through various forms, utilizing regulations in the Customs Act. GRA had also contemplated manned presence on the oil vessel(s) at all times, but it is unclear whether that was ever achieved.
In November last year, GRA had advertised in Kaieteur News that the Liza Destiny Floating Production, Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessel had been appointed a sufferance wharf and private warehouse, pursuant to the Customs Act issued under Section 2 and Part 4 of the Act.
A sufferance wharf is a place other than an approved place of loading and offloading by the Revenue Authority, where a senior customs officer may by discretion and under certain conditions, allow the loading and offloading of goods. That subjects the Liza Destiny vessel to all customs regulations which concern sufferance wharves. It is the appointment that gives GRA the authority to conduct its surveillance.
Following the installation of the connection to the Liza Phase One operation, Exxon intends to connect to the Liza Phase Two operation in 2022 when the project is slated to come on stream. It also intends to connect to the Payara area in 2023. That development is slated to come on stream in 2024.