Guyana Oil: Excess gas from Liza Phase 1 alone can power all of Guyana for more than 15 years

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By Kiana Wilburg – Kaieteur News

For decades, Guyana has tried and failed in its attempts to address the issue of high energy costs. It appears, however, that this could soon be a closed chapter in the nation’s history given the significant volume of gas that is available for use in the Stabroek Block.

Even though ExxonMobil has not publicly disclosed details about its gas finds, it has made known to the government, and even to the nation’s global partners like the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), that 30 to 50 million cubic feet of natural gas could be piped to shore for electricity generation. But what exactly does this mean or translate to?       

“It means that it could basically power the entire country as we speak. But the demand is going up every year by about seven percent,” said Public Infrastructure Minister, David Patterson who has responsibility for the energy sector.

David Patterson

During an exclusive interview with Kaieteur News, Patterson noted that the Guyana Power and Light (GPL) is currently producing just about 150 megawatts of power. He noted that the 30-50 million cubic feet of natural gas is excess from the Liza Phase One field alone which could be sustained for over 15 years.

That, he said, would translate to about 200 Megawatts of power, therefore being more than enough to power the entire Demerara Berbice Interconnected System (DBIS).

The Minister acknowledged that while Exxon has not made public announcements about its finds, it did inform the government in 2015 that there was associated gas with the Liza One discovery and what could be available since 2017.

Patterson said, “We told them in the beginning that we wouldn’t allow flaring and because of that, we asked them to tell us in writing, how much excess gas is actually available from Liza One and still allow for maximum oil recovery.

“They came back and they confirmed that between 30 and 50 million cubic feet is available without affecting the Liza operation. With that information, we started a process of examining gas to power scenarios…”

The Minister said that several studies and reports were done on the quality of gas along with the cost for development and bringing it to shore.
He said, “The main issue to be confirmed at this point is the most suitable location to land the pipeline onshore. When the plans were initially conceived, it was our intention to locate an industrial complex thus providing cheaper power to help stimulate this sector…”

The Minister noted, however, that with its emergence, the Energy Department has since taken over the issue.
The Energy Department had disclosed that gas can be brought to shore by 2023-2024.

Furthermore, the IDB, which is acutely aware of Guyana’s gas potential has said that currently, Guyana is at a historic juncture to convert its abundant natural resources into a diversified electricity generation matrix.

Along with the Stabroek oil discoveries, it noted that ExxonMobil and its partners have found commercial quantities of Natural Gas associated with the oil deposits.

Together with Renewable Energy (RE) sources, the financial institution said that this could transform the electricity generation sector. It stressed that the use of Natural gas could help to lower carbon emissions and represent cost savings, benefitting residential, commercial, and industrial consumers

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