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Environmental Impact Assessment

Liza Phase 1 Development Project

Esso Exploration and Production Guyana, Limited

May 2017

www.erm.com

David W. Blaha

ERM Partner



The business of sustainability



-Page Intentionally Left Blank-



EEPGL Environmental Impact Assessment

Liza Phase 1 Development Project



Table of Contents



TABLE OF CONTENTS

VOLUME I-ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT

Environmental Impact statement ............................................................................................................ i

EIS Executive Summary ........................................................................................................................ i

EIS 1.0



Introduction ......................................................................................................................... iv



EIS 1.1

EIS 1.2

EIS 1.3

EIS 1.4

EIS 2.0



Project Sponsor ................................................................................................................ iv

Project Context ................................................................................................................. iv

Purpose of the Project....................................................................................................... v

Regulatory Framework and Purpose of this EIA ........................................................ v

Project Description ............................................................................................................. vi



EIS 2.1

EIS 2.2

EIS 2.3

EIS 2.4

EIS 2.5

EIS 2.6

EIS 2.7

EIS 2.8

EIS 3.0



Drilling and SURF/FPSO Installation .................................................................... vii

Production Operations ............................................................................................. viii

Decommissioning .......................................................................................................... ix

Onshore, Marine, and Aviation Support ................................................................... ix

Project Workforce ......................................................................................................... ix

Project Schedule ............................................................................................................. x

Public Consultation....................................................................................................... x

Alternatives .................................................................................................................... x



Project Impacts.................................................................................................................... xii



EIS 3.1

Planned Activities .......................................................................................................... xii

EIS 3.1.1 Air Quality................................................................................................................... xii

EIS 3.1.2 Marine Water Quality .............................................................................................. xiii

EIS 3.1.3 Marine Sediments and Marine Benthos .................................................................. xiv

EIS 3.1.4 Marine Biological Resources...................................................................................... xv

EIS 3.2

Unplanned Events ......................................................................................................... xvi

EIS 3.3

Cumulative Impacts.................................................................................................... xviii

EIS 3.4

Degree of Irreversible Damage ................................................................................... xix

EIS 3.5

Environmental and Socioeconomic Management Plan .......................................... xix

EIS 4.0



Conclusions and Recommendations ............................................................................... xx



EIS 4.1

EIS 4.2



Conclusions ...................................................................................................................... xx

Recommendations....................................................................................................... xxii



Environmental Impact Assessment ....................................................................................................... 1

1.0



Introduction ................................................................................................................................... 1



1.1

1.2

1.3

1.4

May 2017



Purpose of this EIA ................................................................................................................... 2

EEPGL Exploration Well Drilling History ........................................................................... 3

Goals and Objectives of the EIA ............................................................................................ 3

Components of the EIA ............................................................................................................ 4



EEPGL Environmental Impact Assessment

Liza Phase 1 Development Project



2.0



Table of Contents



Project Description ..................................................................................................................... 13



2.1

Project Location ....................................................................................................................... 13

2.2

Overview of the Development Concept ............................................................................. 16

2.2.1

Development Concept...................................................................................................... 16

2.2.2

Applicable Codes, Standards, and Management Systems ......................................... 18

2.3

Drilling and Well Design ...................................................................................................... 18

2.3.1

Drilling Program .............................................................................................................. 18

2.3.2

Typical Well Design ........................................................................................................ 19

2.3.3

Drilling Fluids .................................................................................................................. 22

2.3.4

Well Cleanup and Ancillary Processes ......................................................................... 23

2.4

Subsea, Umbilicals, Risers, and Flowlines ........................................................................ 23

2.4.1

Well Flow Connections ................................................................................................... 25

2.4.2

FPSO Topside Subsea Control System ......................................................................... 26

2.4.3

Risers, Flowlines, Umbilicals, and Manifolds ............................................................ 26

2.5

Floating Production, Storage, and Offloading Vessel ..................................................... 28

2.5.1

General Description ......................................................................................................... 28

2.5.2

FPSO Topsides ................................................................................................................. 32

2.5.3

FPSO Process Systems .................................................................................................... 32

2.5.4

FPSO Utility Systems ..................................................................................................... 35

2.5.5

Power Generation System .............................................................................................. 36

2.5.6

Integrated Control and Safety System (ICSS) ............................................................. 37

2.5.7

Communication Systems ................................................................................................ 37

2.5.8

Additional Vessel Systems ............................................................................................. 37

2.5.9

Safety and Personnel Protection Systems.................................................................... 39

2.6

Installation, Hook-up, and Commissioning ...................................................................... 39

2.7

Production Operations ........................................................................................................... 40

2.7.1

Common Flow Assurance Additives ............................................................................. 41

2.7.2

Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S) Management............................................................................ 42

2.7.3

Marine Safety ................................................................................................................... 42

2.7.4

Offloading Tankers .......................................................................................................... 43

2.8

Onshore, Marine, and Aviation Support ............................................................................ 44

2.8.1

Onshore Supply and Support Activities ....................................................................... 44

2.8.2

Logistical Support ........................................................................................................... 46

2.9

End of Operations (Decommissioning) .............................................................................. 49

2.10 Materials, Emissions, Discharges, and Wastes .................................................................. 49

2.10.1 Materials Inventory......................................................................................................... 50

2.10.2 Emissions .......................................................................................................................... 52

2.10.3 Discharges ......................................................................................................................... 54

2.10.4 Waste Management ......................................................................................................... 57

2.11 Embedded Controls ................................................................................................................ 61

2.12 Project Workforce.................................................................................................................... 64

2.13 Worker Health and Safety ..................................................................................................... 65



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EEPGL Environmental Impact Assessment

Liza Phase 1 Development Project



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2.14 Project Schedule ...................................................................................................................... 65

2.15 Project Benefits ........................................................................................................................ 66

2.16 Alternatives .............................................................................................................................. 67

2.16.1 Location Alternatives ..................................................................................................... 67

2.16.2 Development Concept Alternatives .............................................................................. 67

2.16.3 Technology Alternatives ................................................................................................. 67

2.16.4 No-go Alternative ............................................................................................................ 68

2.16.5 Summary of Alternatives ................................................................................................ 68

3.0



Administrative Framework ....................................................................................................... 70



3.1

National Legal Framework .................................................................................................... 70

3.1.1

National Constitution of Guyana ................................................................................. 70

3.1.2

The Environmental Protection Act................................................................................ 70

3.1.3

The Guyana Geology and Mines Commission Act ..................................................... 71

3.1.4

The Petroleum Act............................................................................................................ 71

3.1.5

Other Resource-Specific National Environmental and Social Laws ....................... 72

3.2

National Policy Framework .................................................................................................. 75

3.2.1

National Development Strategy .................................................................................... 75

3.2.2

National Environmental Action Plan .......................................................................... 75

3.2.3

Integrated Coastal Zone Management Action Plan ................................................... 76

3.2.4

Protected Areas Act ......................................................................................................... 76

3.2.5

Guyana's National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (NBSAP) .................... 76

3.2.6

Low Carbon Development Strategy and the Green Economy ................................... 77

3.2.7

Guyana Energy Agency’s Strategic Plan ...................................................................... 77

3.3

International Conventions and Protocols ........................................................................... 77

3.4

EEPGL’s Operations Integrity Management System ....................................................... 83

4.0



Methodology for Preparing the Environmental Impact Assessment................................ 85



4.1

Screening .................................................................................................................................. 86

4.2

Scoping and Terms of Reference ......................................................................................... 86

4.3

Assessing Existing Conditions ............................................................................................. 87

4.4

Interaction with Design and Decision-Making Process .................................................. 87

4.5

Stakeholder Engagement ....................................................................................................... 87

4.5.1

Stakeholder Engagement Plan ....................................................................................... 88

4.5.2

Stakeholder Identification and Engagement Strategy................................................ 88

4.5.3

Stakeholder Engagement Process .................................................................................. 89

4.5.4

Stakeholder Comments and Considerations ................................................................ 93

4.6

Assessment of Impacts and Identification of Mitigation ................................................ 96

4.7

Mitigation, Management, and Monitoring ...................................................................... 101

5.0



Scope of the Environmental Impact Assessment ................................................................ 103



5.1

5.2



May 2017



The Area of Influence........................................................................................................... 103

Project Interactions with Environmental and Socioeconomic Receptors................... 106



EEPGL Environmental Impact Assessment

Liza Phase 1 Development Project



5.3

6.0



Table of Contents



Resources/Receptors Assessed in the EIA ........................................................................ 107

Description of the Existing Environment ............................................................................. 115



6.1

Physical Resources ................................................................................................................ 115

6.1.1

Air Quality and Climate ............................................................................................... 115

6.1.2

Sound ............................................................................................................................... 117

6.1.3

Marine Geology and Sediments ................................................................................... 119

6.1.4

Oceanographic Conditions/Marine Water Quality .................................................. 128

6.2

Biological Resources ............................................................................................................. 135

6.2.1

Protected Areas and Special Status Species .............................................................. 135

6.2.2

Coastal Habitats............................................................................................................ 141

6.2.3

Coastal Wildlife and Shorebirds ................................................................................. 145

6.2.4

Seabirds ........................................................................................................................... 146

6.2.5

Marine Mammals ........................................................................................................... 151

6.2.6

Marine Turtles ................................................................................................................ 158

6.2.7

Marine Fish ..................................................................................................................... 162

6.2.8

Marine Benthos .............................................................................................................. 167

6.3

Socioeconomic Resources .................................................................................................... 173

6.3.1

Administrative Divisions in Guyana ......................................................................... 173

6.3.2

Population Distribution ............................................................................................... 175

6.3.3

Education ........................................................................................................................ 177

6.3.4

Land Use .......................................................................................................................... 178

6.3.5

Economy .......................................................................................................................... 180

6.3.6

Employment and Livelihoods ...................................................................................... 190

6.3.7

Community Health and Wellbeing .............................................................................. 196

6.3.8

Marine Use and Transportation .................................................................................. 202

6.3.9

Social Infrastructure and Services............................................................................... 208

6.3.10 Cultural Heritage ........................................................................................................... 217

6.3.11 Ecosystem Services ........................................................................................................ 222

7.0



Assessment of Potential Impacts ........................................................................................... 225



7.1

Physical Resources ................................................................................................................ 226

7.1.1

Air Quality and Climate ............................................................................................... 226

7.1.2

Sound ............................................................................................................................... 236

7.1.3

Marine Geology and Sediments ................................................................................... 236

7.1.4

Marine Water Quality .................................................................................................. 242

7.2

Biological Resources ............................................................................................................. 252

7.2.1

Protected Areas and Special Status Species .............................................................. 252

7.2.2

Coastal Habitats............................................................................................................ 257

7.2.3

Coastal Wildlife and Shorebirds ................................................................................. 258

7.2.4

Seabirds ........................................................................................................................... 258

7.2.5

Marine Mammals ........................................................................................................... 263

7.2.6

Marine Turtles ................................................................................................................ 279



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EEPGL Environmental Impact Assessment

Liza Phase 1 Development Project



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Marine Fish ..................................................................................................................... 286

7.2.7

7.2.8

Marine Benthos .............................................................................................................. 295

7.2.9

Ecological Balance and Ecosystems............................................................................ 302

7.3

Socioeconomic Environment .............................................................................................. 307

7.3.1

Project Activities and Receptors ................................................................................. 307

7.3.2

Economic Conditions .................................................................................................... 309

7.3.3

Employment and Livelihoods ...................................................................................... 312

7.3.4

Community Health and Wellbeing .............................................................................. 317

7.3.5

Marine Use and Transportation .................................................................................. 321

7.3.6

Social Infrastructure and Services............................................................................... 331

7.3.7

Cultural Heritage ........................................................................................................... 338

Land Use .......................................................................................................................... 341

7.3.8

7.3.9

Ecosystem Services ........................................................................................................ 344

7.3.10 Indigenous Peoples ........................................................................................................ 344

7.4

Unplanned Events ................................................................................................................. 345

7.4.1

Introduction .................................................................................................................... 345

7.4.2

Physical Resources ........................................................................................................ 365

7.4.3

Biological Resources ..................................................................................................... 369

7.4.5

Transboundary Impacts ................................................................................................ 395

8.0



Cumulative Impact Assessment ............................................................................................. 400



8.1

Scope of the Cumulative Impact Analysis ....................................................................... 400

8.1.1

Potentially Eligible Resources ..................................................................................... 400

8.1.2

Other (non-Project) Relevant Activities .................................................................... 401

8.1.3

Relevant Resources ........................................................................................................ 402

8.1.4

Geographical Extent of Analysis ................................................................................. 403

8.1.5

Time Frame for Analysis ............................................................................................... 403

8.2

Resource/Receptor-Specific Cumulative Impact Assessment ...................................... 403

8.2.1

Special Status Species ................................................................................................... 403

8.2.2

Marine Mammals ........................................................................................................... 404

8.2.3

Marine Turtles ................................................................................................................ 405

8.2.4

Marine Fish ..................................................................................................................... 406

8.2.5

Community Health and Wellbeing .............................................................................. 407

8.2.6

Marine Use and Transportation .................................................................................. 408

8.2.7

Social Infrastructure and Services............................................................................... 409

8.2.8

Employment and Livelihoods ...................................................................................... 409

9.0



Environmental and SocioEconomic Management Plan Framework ............................... 411



9.1

9.2

9.3

9.4

9.5



May 2017



Introduction ........................................................................................................................... 411

Regulatory and Policy Framework .................................................................................... 411

ESMP Structure ..................................................................................................................... 412

General ESMP Guiding Principles .................................................................................... 414

Management Plan Contents ................................................................................................ 414



EEPGL Environmental Impact Assessment

Liza Phase 1 Development Project



9.6

10.0



Table of Contents



Management of Change ....................................................................................................... 414

Conclusions and Summary of Impacts ................................................................................. 415



10.1

10.2

10.3

10.4

10.5

10.6



Planned Events ...................................................................................................................... 415

Unplanned Events ................................................................................................................. 415

Cumulative Impacts.............................................................................................................. 416

Degree of Irreversible Damage .......................................................................................... 416

Project Benefits ...................................................................................................................... 416

Summary ................................................................................................................................. 417



11.0



Recommendations..................................................................................................................... 419



12.0



Project Team ............................................................................................................................... 425



13.0



References................................................................................................................................... 427



Introduction ....................................................................................................................................... 427

Administrative Framework ............................................................................................................. 427

Description of the Existing Environment ..................................................................................... 427

Physical Resources ........................................................................................................................ 427

Biological Resources ..................................................................................................................... 430

Socioeconomic Resources ............................................................................................................. 435

Assessment of Potential Impacts ................................................................................................... 439

Physical Resources ........................................................................................................................ 439

Biological Resources ..................................................................................................................... 440

Socioeconomic Resources ............................................................................................................. 443

Transboundary Impacts ................................................................................................................ 445

Personal Communications .............................................................................................................. 445



List of Tables

Table EIS-1



FPSO Key Design Rates ........................................................................................ viii



Table EIS-2



Resources and Receptors Considered in this EIA ..............................................xii



Table EIS-3



Summary of Production Operations Discharges ...............................................xiv



Table EIS-4



Coastal Resources Potentially Impacted by an Oil Spill ................................ xviii



Table EIS-5



Marine Resources Potentially Impacted by an Oil Spill ................................ xviii



Table EIS-6



Summary of Residual Impact Ratings ................................................................. xxi



Tab1e 1-1



EEPGL Stabroek Exploration Well Drilling History ............................................ 3



Table 1-2



EIA Review Checklist “Roadmap” ......................................................................... 4



Table 2-1



FPSO Key Design Rates .......................................................................................... 29



Table 2-2



Project Materials and Chemicals ........................................................................... 51



Table 2-3



Annual Air Emissions Summary .......................................................................... 53



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EEPGL Environmental Impact Assessment

Liza Phase 1 Development Project



Table of Contents



Table 2-4



Summary of Drilling and Completion-Related Discharges .............................. 55



Table 2-5



Summary of Commissioning and Production-Related Discharges ................. 56



Table 2-6



Summary of Estimated Annual Project Waste Generation and Management

Methods .................................................................................................................... 59



Table 2-7



List of Embedded Controls .................................................................................... 61



Table 2-8



Workforce Estimates ............................................................................................... 65



Table 3-1



Resource-Specific Environmental and Social Laws............................................ 72



Table 3-2



International Agreements Relevant to Environmental and Socioeconomic

Issues in Guyana ..................................................................................................... 78



Table 4-1



Themes in Scoping Comments Received and Consideration in EIA ............... 94



Table 4-2



Evaluation of Impact Significance ........................................................................ 97



Table 4-3



Evaluation of Risk ................................................................................................. 100



Table 5-1



Summary of Resources/Receptors Retained for Further Consideration in EIA

and Corresponding Potential Impacts, Primary Sources of Potential Impacts,

and Analytical Approach ..................................................................................... 109



Table 5-2



Resources and Receptors Excluded from Further Consideration in the EIA 113



Table 6-1



Major Geologic Formations of the Guyana Basin ............................................. 119



Table 6-2



Summary Results for Sediment Metals, Reported in µg g-1 dry weight ........ 121



Table 6-3



Summary Results for Sediment Hydrocarbons ................................................ 123



Table 6-4 EBS Water Column Heavy Metals Concentrations .......................................................... 135

Table 6-5



Protected Areas in Guyana .................................................................................. 136



Table 6-7



Definitions of IUCN Red List Threatened Categories .................................... 140



Table 6-8



Seabird Species Known to Occur in Guyana ..................................................... 148



Table 6-9



Marine Mammals with Ranges that include Waters Offshore Guyana ........ 151



Table 6-10



Marine Mammal Species Visually Observed during EEPGL Activities Since

2014.......................................................................................................................... 155



Table 6-11



Data Compiled from PSO Observations June 2014 to September 2016 ......... 156



Table 6-12



Fish Bycatch from the Nearshore Shrimp Trawling Fishery 2012-2015 (mt) 164



Table 6-13



Fish Species Observed in the Stabroek Block during EEPGL Activities Since

2014.......................................................................................................................... 164



Table 6-14



List of Common Macrofauna Families between the 2014 and 2016

Environmental Survey Reports ........................................................................... 169



Table 6-15



Regional Population Distribution in Guyana.................................................... 175



Table 6-16



Economic Sectors and Contribution to GDP, 2015 ........................................... 180



Table 6-17



Primary Characteristics of Marine Fisheries in Guyana .................................. 186



Table 6-18



Health Facilities in the Coastal Regions ............................................................. 199



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EEPGL Environmental Impact Assessment

Liza Phase 1 Development Project



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Table 6-19



Number of Educational Facilities in Guyana’s Coastal Regions .................... 213



Table 6-20



Policing Divisions in Guyana ............................................................................. 215



Table 7-1



Project Activities and Potential Impacts – Air Quality and Climate ............. 227



Table 7-2



Annual Air Emissions Summary ........................................................................ 228



Table 7-3



WHO Ambient Air Quality Guidelines ............................................................. 230



Table 7-4



Modeling Results Summary at Potential Onshore Receptor Locations ........ 233



Table 7-5



Estimated Annual Project GHG Emissions ....................................................... 235



Table 7-6



Air Quality and Climate - Pre-Mitigation and Residual Impact Significance

Ratings .................................................................................................................... 236



Table 7-7



Project Activities and Potential Impacts – Marine Geology and Sediments. 237



Table 7-8



Summary of Modeling Results for Drill Cuttings Discharge Scenarios ........ 238



Table 7-9



Marine Geology and Sediments - Pre-Mitigation and Residual Impact

Significance Ratings .............................................................................................. 241



Table 7-10



Project Activities and Potential Impacts – Marine Water Quality ................. 243



Table 7-11



Summary of TSS Modeling Results for Drill Cuttings Discharge Scenarios 244



Table 7-12



Summary of Project-related Discharges ............................................................. 245



Table 7-13



Summary of Discharges and Modeled Constituents for Installation and

Production Operations ......................................................................................... 248



Table 7-14



Summary of Modeling Results for Most Conservative Bounding Case

(predictions at 100 m reference distance) .......................................................... 250



Table 7-15



Magnitude Ratings for Modeled Hydrotesting and Production Operations

Discharges .............................................................................................................. 251



Table 7-16



Marine Water Quality - Pre-Mitigation and Residual Impact Significance

Ratings .................................................................................................................... 252



Table 7-17



Definitions for Magnitude Ratings for Special Status Species ........................ 254



Table 7-18



Definitions for Receptor Sensitivity Ratings for Special Status Species ........ 254



Table 7-19



Special Status Species - Pre-Mitigation and Residual Impact Significance

Ratings .................................................................................................................... 256



Table 7-20



Project Activities and Potential Impacts – Seabirds ......................................... 259



Table 7-21



Seabirds - Pre-Mitigation and Residual Impact Significance Ratings ........... 263



Table 7-22



Project Activities and Potential Impacts – Marine Mammals ......................... 264



Table 7-23



Acoustic Threshold Levels for Onset of Permanent Threshold Shifts (PTS) in

Low-Frequency Cetaceans (LFCs) and Mid-Frequency Cetaceans (MFCs) . 270



Table 7-24



Modeled Horizontal Distances to PTS Onset Acoustic Thresholds for LowFrequency Cetaceans (LFCs) and Mid-Frequency Cetaceans (MFCs): Scenario

1 – FPSO Operations ............................................................................................. 271



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Liza Phase 1 Development Project



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Table 7-25



Modeled Horizontal Distances to PTS Onset Acoustic Thresholds for LowFrequency Cetaceans (LFCs) and Mid-Frequency Cetaceans (MFCs): Scenario

2 – Installation of the FPSO Vessel, Including Mooring the FPSO and Using

Several Construction and Service Vessels ......................................................... 271



Table 7-26



Modeled Horizontal Distances to PTS Onset Acoustic Thresholds for LowFrequency Cetaceans (LFCs) and Mid-Frequency Cetaceans (MFCs): Scenario

3 – Installation of a Drill Center, Including Operation of a Drill Ship and a

Pipelaying Vessel .................................................................................................. 272



Table 7-27



Modeled Horizontal Distances to PTS Onset Acoustic Thresholds for LowFrequency Cetaceans (LFCs) and Mid-Frequency Cetaceans (MFCs): Scenario

4 – Operation of a Vertical Seismic Profiler ....................................................... 272



Table 7-28



Modeled Horizontal Distances to PTS Onset Acoustic Thresholds for LowFrequency Cetaceans (LFCs) and Mid-Frequency Cetaceans (MFCs): Scenario

5 – Installation of Manifold Foundation Piles ................................................... 272



Table 7-29



Modeled Horizontal Distances to PTS Onset Acoustic Thresholds for LowFrequency Cetaceans (LFCs) and Mid-Frequency Cetaceans (MFCs): Scenario

6 – Installation of Mooring Piles for the FPSO .................................................. 273



Table 7-30



Definitions for Receptor Sensitivity Ratings for Impacts to Special Status

Species..................................................................................................................... 276



Table 7-31



Impact Magnitude and Receptor Sensitivity Ratings - Marine Mammals .... 276



Table 7-32



Marine Mammals - Pre-Mitigation and Residual Impact Significance Ratings

.................................................................................................................................. 278



Table 7-33



Project Activities and Potential Impacts – Marine Turtles .............................. 279



Table 7-34



Definitions for Receptor Sensitivity Ratings for Impacts to Special Status

Species..................................................................................................................... 283



Table 7-35



Impact Magnitude and Receptor Sensitivity Ratings - Marine Turtles ......... 284



Table 7-36



Summary of Impacts Significance Ratings and Recommended Mitigation

Measures - Marine Turtles ................................................................................... 285



Table 7-37



Project Activities and Potential Impacts – Marine Fish ................................... 286



Table 7-38



Definitions for Magnitude Ratings for Potential Impacts to Marine Fish ..... 293



Table 7-39



Definitions for Receptor Sensitivity Ratings for Impacts to Marine Fish ...... 294



Table 7-40



Summary of Impact Significance Ratings and Recommended Mitigation

Measures - Marine Fish ........................................................................................ 294



Table 7-41



Project Activities and Potential Impacts – Marine Benthos ............................ 296



Table 7-42



Area of Benthic Habitat Disturbed by FPSO and SURF Subsea Infrastructure

Installation .............................................................................................................. 299



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EEPGL Environmental Impact Assessment

Liza Phase 1 Development Project



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Table 7-43



Marine Benthos - Pre-Mitigation and Residual Impact Significance Ratings

.................................................................................................................................. 301



Table 7-44



Definitions for Magnitude Ratings for Potential Impacts to Ecological Balance

and Ecosystems ..................................................................................................... 304



Table 7-45



Definitions for Receptor Sensitivity Ratings for Impacts to Ecological Balance

and Ecosystems ..................................................................................................... 306



Table 7-46



Summary of Impact Significance Ratings and Recommended Mitigation

Measures – Ecological Balance and Ecosystems ............................................... 306



Table 7-47



Socioeconomic Receptors and Potential Impacts as a Result of Project

Activities ................................................................................................................. 308



Table 7-48



Project Activities and Potential Impacts – Economic Conditions .................. 310



Table 7-49



Definitions for Receptor Sensitivity for Impacts to Economic Conditions .. 311



Table 7-50



Economic Conditions – Pre-Mitigation and Residual Impact Significance

Ratings .................................................................................................................... 312



Table 7-51



Project Activities and Potential Impacts – Employment and Livelihoods .... 313



Table 7-52



Definitions for Scale Ratings for Potential Impacts on Employment and

Livelihoods ............................................................................................................. 314



Table 7-53



Definitions for Receptor Sensitivity Ratings for Employment and Livelihood

Impacts.................................................................................................................... 315



Table 7-54



Employment and Livelihoods – Pre-Mitigation and Residual Impact

Significance Ratings .............................................................................................. 316



Table 7-55



Project Activities and Potential Impacts - Community Health and Wellbeing

.................................................................................................................................. 318



Table 7-56



Definitions for Scale Ratings for Potential Impacts on Community Health and

Wellbeing................................................................................................................ 318



Table 7-57



Definitions for Receptor Sensitivity Ratings for Community Health and

Wellbeing Impacts................................................................................................. 320



Table 7-58



Community Health and Wellbeing – Pre-Mitigation and Residual Impact

Significance Ratings .............................................................................................. 321



Table 7-59



Project Activities and Potential Impacts – Marine Use and Transportation . 323



Table 7-60



Definitions for Scale Ratings - Potential Impacts on Maritime Use and

Transportation ....................................................................................................... 325



Table 7-61



Magnitude Ratings – Potential Impacts on Marine Use and Transportation326



Table 7-62



Definitions for Receptor Sensitivity Ratings – Potential Impacts to Maritime

Use and Transportation ........................................................................................ 326



Table 7-63



Sensitivity Ratings for Marine Use and Transportation Receptors ................ 327



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Liza Phase 1 Development Project



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Table 7-64



Marine Use and Transportation Pre-Mitigation and Residual Impact

Significance Ratings .............................................................................................. 329



Table 7-65



Project Activities and Potential Impacts – Social Infrastructure and Services

(Housing and Utilities) ......................................................................................... 331



Table 7-66



Definitions for Scale Ratings for Potential Impacts on Housing and Utilities

.................................................................................................................................. 332



Table 7-67



Definitions for Receptor Sensitivity Ratings for Housing and Utilities Impacts

.................................................................................................................................. 332



Table 7-68



Housing and Utilities Pre-Mitigation and Residual Impact Significance

Ratings .................................................................................................................... 333



Table 7-69



Project Activities and Potential Impacts – Onshore and Air Transportation334



Table 7-70



Magnitude of Impacts – Onshore and Air Transportation ............................. 335



Table 7-71



Receptor Sensitivity Ratings – Onshore and Air Transportation ................... 336



Table 7-72



Onshore and Air Transportation – Summary of Pre-Mitigation and Residual

Impacts.................................................................................................................... 337



Table 7-73



Summary of Relevant Project Activities and Potential Key Impacts ............. 338



Table 7-74



Definitions for Scale Ratings for Potential Impacts on Cultural Heritage

Impacts.................................................................................................................... 339



Table 7-75



Definitions for Sensitivity Ratings for Potential Impacts on Cultural Heritage

.................................................................................................................................. 340



Table 7-76



Summary of Pre-Mitigation and Residual Impacts – Cultural Heritage....... 341



Table 7-77



Project Activities and Potential Impacts – Land Use ....................................... 342



Table 7-78



Definitions for Scale Ratings for Potential Impacts on Land Use .................. 342



Table 7-79



Definitions for Receptor Sensitivity Ratings for Land Use Impacts .............. 343



Table 7-80



Summary of Pre-Mitigation and Residual Impacts – Land Use ..................... 343



Table 7-81



Levels of Likelihood for Unplanned Event Impact Assessment .................... 345



Table 7-82



Possible Hydrocarbon Spill Scenarios by Tier .................................................. 347



Table 7-83



Oil Thickness (g/m2) and Appearance on Water (NRC, 1985) ....................... 352



Table 7-84



Resources/Receptors Potentially Impacted by Unplanned Events ............... 365



Table 7-85



Risk Rating for Oil Spill Impacts to Air Quality ............................................... 366



Table 7-86



Risk Rating for Oil Spill Impacts on Marine Geology and Sediments .......... 367



Table 7-87



Risk Rating for Oil Spill Impacts on Water Quality ......................................... 369



Table 7-88



Risk Rating for Oil Spill Impacts on Protected Areas and Special Status

Species..................................................................................................................... 372



Table 7-89



Risk Rating for Oil Spill Impacts on Coastal Habitats ..................................... 373



Table 7-90



Risk Rating for Oil Spill Impacts on Coastal Wildlife and Shorebirds .......... 375



May 2017



EEPGL Environmental Impact Assessment

Liza Phase 1 Development Project



Table of Contents



Table 7-91



Risk Rating for Oil Spill Impacts on Seabirds ................................................... 376



Table 7-92



Risk Ratings for Oil Spill Impacts on Marine Mammals ................................. 377



Table 7-93



Risk Rating for Oil Spill Impacts on Marine Turtles ........................................ 378



Table 7-94



Risk Rating for Oil Spill Impacts on Marine Fish ............................................. 380



Table 7-95



Risk Rating for Oil Spill Impacts on Marine Benthos ...................................... 382



Table 7-96



Risk Rating for Oil Spill Impacts on Ecological Balance and Ecosystems .... 384



Table 7-97



Risk Rating for Oil Spill Impacts on Economic Conditions / Employment and

Livelihoods ............................................................................................................. 386



Table 7-98



Risk Rating for Oil Spill and Vehicle/Vessel Impacts on Community Health

and Wellbeing ........................................................................................................ 388



Table 7-99



Risk Rating for Oil Spill/Vessel Collision on Marine Use and Transportation

.................................................................................................................................. 389



Table 7-100



Risk Rating for Oil Spill and Vehicular Accident Risks to Social Infrastructure

and Services ........................................................................................................... 390



Table 7-101



Summary of Oil Spill Risk to Cultural Heritage ............................................... 391



Table 7-102



Potential Ecosystem Services Receptors and Impacts from a Large Marine Oil

Spill.......................................................................................................................... 393



Table 7-103



Risk Rating for Oil Spill Impacts on Ecosystem Services ................................ 393



Table 7-104



Risk Rating for Oil Spill Impacts on Indigenous Peoples................................ 395



Table 8-1



Eligibility of Resources/Receptors for Cumulative Impact Analysis ........... 401



Table 8-2



Identification of Relevant Resources/Receptors for the Cumulative Impact

Analysis .................................................................................................................. 402



Table 10-1



Summary of Residual Impact Ratings ................................................................ 418



Table 11-1



List of Proposed Embedded Controls ................................................................ 420



Table 11-2



List of Proposed Mitigation Measures ............................................................... 423



Table 12-1



Project Team........................................................................................................... 425



List of Figures

Figure EIS-1



Location of the Liza Project Development Area within the Stabroek Block ..... v



Figure EIS-2



Preliminary Liza Phase 1 Field Layout .................................................................vi



Figure EIS-3



Typical Drill Ship ................................................................................................... vii



Figure EIS-4



FPSO ......................................................................................................................... vii



Figure EIS-5



Typical FPSO Offloading to a Conventional Tanker........................................... ix



Figure EIS-6



Preliminary Project Schedule................................................................................... x



May 2017



EEPGL Environmental Impact Assessment

Liza Phase 1 Development Project



Table of Contents



Figure 1-1



Location of the Liza Project Development Area within the Stabroek Block ..... 1



Figure 2-1



Subsea Project Development Area for FPSO Installation, SURF, and Drill

Centers within Stabroek Block .............................................................................. 14



Figure 2-2



Surface Project Development Area for FPSO and Drill Centers within

Stabroek Block ......................................................................................................... 15



Figure 2-3



Preliminary Liza Phase 1 Field Layout ................................................................ 17



Figure 2-4



Typical Drill Ship .................................................................................................... 19



Figure 2-5



Provisional Casing Program for Development Drilling Program.................... 20



Figure 2-6



Typical Subsea Drilling System............................................................................. 22



Figure 2-7



Representative SURF System ................................................................................ 24



Figure 2-8



Example of Wire Brush Cleaning Pig ................................................................... 24



Figure 2-9



Representative Subsea Trees, FLETs, Jumpers, and Manifold ......................... 25



Figure 2-10



Representation of Riser Connected to FPSO ....................................................... 26



Figure 2-11



Representative Integrated Dynamic Umbilical Cross Section .......................... 27



Figure 2-12



Representative Subsea Manifold........................................................................... 28



Figure 2-13



Computer Simulated Picture of Planned Liza Phase 1 FPSO ........................... 30



Figure 2-14



General Schematic of a Converted FPSO Topsides and Hull ........................... 31



Figure 2-15



Process Flow Diagram ............................................................................................ 33



Figure 2-16



General Offloading Configuration ....................................................................... 38



Figure 2-17



Preliminary Safety Exclusion Zones during Drilling, Installation, and

Offloading Operations............................................................................................ 43



Figure 2-18



Typical Shorebase Quay ......................................................................................... 45



Figure 2-19



Typical Laydown Yard ........................................................................................... 46



Figure 2-20



Typical Logistics Support Vessels......................................................................... 47



Figure 2-21



Potential Drilling and Operations Stage Peak Fleet Profile .............................. 48



Figure 2-22



Typical Waste Management Facilities at a Local Shorebase ............................. 60



Figure 2-23



Vertical Infrared Unit with Wet Scrubber and Oxidizer at Typical Waste

Management Facilities ............................................................................................ 60



Figure 2-24



Preliminary Project Schedule................................................................................. 66



Figure 3-1



Operations Integrity Management System.......................................................... 84



Figure 4-1



Environmental Application Invitation for Public Comment ............................ 91



Figure 4-2



Sample Draft Terms of Reference Invitation for Public Comment - Regions 2

and 3 .......................................................................................................................... 92



Figure 4-3



Impact Prediction and Evaluation Process .......................................................... 98



Figure 5-1



Direct Area of Influence ....................................................................................... 104



May 2017



EEPGL Environmental Impact Assessment

Liza Phase 1 Development Project



Table of Contents



Figure 5-2



Indirect Area of Influence .................................................................................... 105



Figure 6-1



Typical Distribution of Mudbanks and Mangroves on Guyana’s Coast ...... 120



Figure 6-2



Marine Currents in the Vicinity of the Project Development Area................ 130



Figure 6-3



Vector Stick Plot for Stations on the Stabroek LADCP Transect .................... 131



Figure 6-4



LADCP Locations .................................................................................................. 132



Figure 6-5



Protected Areas of Guyana .................................................................................. 137



Figure 6-6



Shell Beach Protected Area .................................................................................. 138



Figure 6-7



Guyana’s Ecoregions ............................................................................................ 142



Figure 6-8



Guyana’s Mangrove Distribution (Georgetown west to Venezuelan Border)

.................................................................................................................................. 144



Figure 6-9



Mangrove Photographs ........................................................................................ 144



Figure 6-10



Location of IBAs with Importance to Seabirds Relative to Stabroek Block .. 150



Figure 6-11



Locations of Marine Mammal Sightings Relative to the Stabroek Block ...... 157



Figure 6-12



Location of Sea Turtle Sightings and Satellite Tracks Relative to the Stabroek

Block ........................................................................................................................ 161



Figure 6-13



Approximate Locations of Biological Observations Made Since 2014 .......... 165



Figure 6-14



Abundance of Major Taxonomic Groups Identified in 2016 EBS................... 169



Figure 6-15



Benthos Photographed in the Vicinity of the Liza-1 Well ............................... 170



Figure 6-16



Representative Photographs of the Circa-Littoral Sandy Mud Biotope

Photographed in the Vicinity of the Liza-1 Well .............................................. 172



Figure 6-17



Guyana’s Administrative Regions and Townships.......................................... 174



Figure 6-18



Regional Distribution of Ethnicity, 2012 ........................................................... 176



Figure 6-19



Amerindian Population by Region, 2012 .......................................................... 177



Figure 6-20



Land Cover in Coastal Guyana ........................................................................... 179



Figure 6-21



Rice Field in Region 2 Pomeroon-Supenaam .................................................... 181



Figure 6-22



Annual Rice Production, 2011-2015 .................................................................... 182



Figure 6-23



Sluice Gate (Koker) in Charity (Region 2) at High Tide .................................. 183



Figure 6-24



Aerial View of Sugar Plantations in Region 2 ................................................... 184



Figure 6-25



Annual Sugar Production, 2011-2015 ................................................................. 184



Figure 6-26



Annual Coconut Production, 2011-2015 ............................................................ 185



Figure 6-27



Commercial Fisheries Catch Volumes, 2007-2015 ........................................... 187



Figure 6-28



Fish Yields from Aquaculture, 2009-2015 .......................................................... 188



Figure 6-29



Annual International Visitors to Guyana, 2000-2015 ....................................... 190



Figure 6-30



Salted Fish Drying Outside a Fisherperson’s Home in Region 2 ................... 192



Figure 6-31



Fresh Fish Being Sold at Stabroek Market in Georgetown .............................. 192



May 2017



EEPGL Environmental Impact Assessment

Liza Phase 1 Development Project



Table of Contents



Figure 6-32



Fishing Boat Landed on a Coastal Mudflat in Region 2, September 2016 .... 194



Figure 6-33



Speedboats Docked in Parika, Region 3............................................................ 195



Figure 6-34



Malaria Incidence by Region, 2010 ..................................................................... 197



Figure 6-35



TB Incidence Rate by Region, 2010 ..................................................................... 198



Figure 6-36



Annual Number of HIV and AIDS Cases, 2001-2014....................................... 198



Figure 6-37



Percent of Population with Access to Improved Water Sources by Region,

2014.......................................................................................................................... 200



Figure 6-38



Percent of Population with Electricity by Region, 2014 ................................... 201



Figure 6-39



Household Access to Telecommunications, 2014 ............................................. 202



Figure 6-40



Offshore Shipping Lanes ...................................................................................... 205



Figure 6-41



Fishing Zones and Ports ....................................................................................... 206



Figure 6-42



Maritime Transportation Facilities ..................................................................... 207



Figure 6-43



Proportion of Housing Types by Region ........................................................... 208



Figure 6-44



Proportion of Home Ownership Types by Coastal Region ............................ 209



Figure 6-45



Demerara Harbour Bridge ................................................................................... 210



Figure 6-46



Electricity Generation in Guyana, 2009-2015 .................................................... 212



Figure 6-47



Locations of Schools that Occur in Near-coastal Portions of Regions 1-6..... 214



Figure 6-48



Locations of Security Facilities in Immediate Vicinity of Guyana’s Coast ... 216



Figure 6-49



SSS Targets UD08, UD011, and UD021 Found within the Main AUV Survey

Area ......................................................................................................................... 219



Figure 6-50



SSS Target SC17 in the Main AUV Survey Area............................................... 220



Figure 6-51



SSS Target SC110 in the Main AUV Survey Area............................................. 220



Figure 6-52



SSS Mosaic Showing SSS Targets, Including the Potential SGSCS TrinidadGuyana Cable, in the Skipjack Survey Area ...................................................... 221



Figure 7-1



Evaluation of Impact Significance ...................................................................... 225



Figure 7-2



Air Quality Modeling Domain ............................................................................ 232



Figure 7-3



Definitions for Magnitude Ratings for Potential Impacts on Air Quality..... 234



Figure 7-4



Auditory Weighting Functions for Marine Mammal Hearing Groups as

Recommended by Southall el al. (2007) ............................................................. 267



Figure 7-5



Auditory Weighting Functions for Marine Mammal Hearing Groups as

Recommended by Finneran (2015) ..................................................................... 267



Figure 7-6



Sediment Sample Locations and Deposition Areas ......................................... 298



Figure 7-7



Unplanned Events Risk Matrix ........................................................................... 345



Figure 7-8



Typical Impacts on Marine Organisms across a Range of Oil Classes .......... 350



Figure 7-9



Weathering Processes Acting on Spilled Oil ..................................................... 350



May 2017



EEPGL Environmental Impact Assessment

Liza Phase 1 Development Project



Table of Contents



Figure 7-10



Stochastic Map for Scenario 8 – Unmitigated 2,500-Barrel Release of Crude

Oil (December through May) .............................................................................. 354



Figure 7-11



Deterministic Map for Scenario 8 – Unmitigated 2,500-Barrel Release of

Crude Oil (December through May) Depicting Weathering and Fate .......... 355



Figure 7-12



Deterministic Map for Scenario 8 – Mitigated 2,500-Barrel Release of Crude

Oil (December through May) Depicting Weathering and Fate ...................... 356



Figure 7-13



Oil Mass Balance Graph for Scenario 8 – Unmitigated 2,500-Barrel Release of

Crude Oil (December through May) Depicting Weathering and Fate .......... 357



Figure 7-14



Stochastic Map for Scenario 9 – Unmitigated 20,000-Barrel-per-Day Release of

Crude Oil for 30 days (December through May) .............................................. 358



Figure 7-15



Deterministic Map for Scenario 9 – Unmitigated 20,000-Barrel-per-Day

Release of Crude Oil for 30 days (December through May) Depicting

Weathering and Fate ............................................................................................. 359



Figure 7-16



Deterministic Map for Scenario 9 – Mitigated 20,000-Barrel-per-Day Release

of Crude Oil for 21 days (December through May) Depicting Weathering and

Fate .......................................................................................................................... 360



Figure 7-17



Oil Mass Balance Graph for Scenario 9 – Unmitigated 20,000-Barrel-per-Day

Release of Crude Oil for 30 days (December through May) Depicting

Weathering and Fate ............................................................................................. 361



Figure 9-1



ESMP Structure...................................................................................................... 413



VOLUME II-TECHNICAL APPENDICES

A:



Signatures for EIA Preparers



B:



EIA Team CVs



C:



EIA Review Checklist



D:



Air Quality Monitoring Report

Executive Summary

Acronyms and Abbreviations

Monitoring Approach

Instrumentation

Quality control/Quality assurance

Results



E:



2014 EBS Report

Introduction and EBS Objectives



May 2017



EEPGL Environmental Impact Assessment

Liza Phase 1 Development Project



Field and Analytical Methods

Water Column Results

Sediment Physical and Chemical Results

Benthic Macrofauna Results

Evaluation of Data Quality

References

F:



2016 EBS Report

Introduction and Scope of Work

Methods

Results

Discussion

References

Appendices



G:



Flora and Fauna of Shell Beach

Avifauna of Shell Beach

Herpetofauna of Shell Beach

Mammals of Shell Beach

Fishes of Shell Beach

Plants of Shell Beach

Macroinvertebrates of Shell Beach



H:



IUCN Listed Species



I:



Birds of Guyana



J:



MMO Executive Summaries and Summary of Data

Executive Summary

Introduction

Methodology

Survey Data

Protected Species Summary Table



K:



List of Marine Fishes of Guyana



L:



Air Quality Modeling Report

Introduction

Air Quality Modeling Methodology

Model Results



M:



Water Quality Modeling Report

Introduction

Drill Cuttings and Deposition Modelling



May 2017



Table of Contents



EEPGL Environmental Impact Assessment

Liza Phase 1 Development Project



Table of Contents



Offshore Discharges Modelling

References

N:



Underwater Noise Modeling Report

Introduction

Acoustic Effects Criteria

Methods

Model Parameters

Results

Discussion

Glossary

Literature Cited

Appendix A: Underwater Acoustics

VOLUME III-ENVIRONMENTAL AND SOCIOECONOMIC MANAGEMENT PLAN



Introduction and Scope

Environmental and Socioceconomic Framework

Project Specific Management Plans

VOLUME IV-OIL SPILL RESPONSE PLAN

Introduction

Scope

Initial Response Actions

Oil Spill Scenarios

Response Strategies

Response Strategy Implementation

Response Resources

Exercises and Training

Appendices



May 2017



EEPGL Environmental Impact Assessment

Liza Phase 1 Development Project



List of Acronyms



List of Acronyms

% ................................... percent

%BFROC ...................... percentage of base fluid retained on cuttings

°C .................................. degrees Celsius

µg/m3 .......................... micrograms per cubic meter

μPa................................ micro pascal

AASM .......................... Airgun Array Source Model

AMS ............................. Alarm Management System

AOI .............................. Area of Influence

AQS .............................. air quality standards

AUV ............................. Automated Underwater Vehicle

bbl ................................. barrel(s)

BOEM........................... U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management

BOP .............................. blowout preventer

BOPD ........................... barrels of oil per day

CARICOM ................... Caribbean Community

CBP ............................... chlorinated by-products

CCC .............................. criterion continuous concentrations

CCR .............................. central control room

CFC............................... chlorofluorocarbon

CITES ........................... Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna

and Flora

CMC ............................. criterion maximum concentrations

CO ................................ carbon monoxide

COLREG ...................... Convention on the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at

Sea

CPACC ........................ Caribbean Planning for Adaptation to Climate Change

CPI ................................ Carbon preference index

CR ................................. Critically Endangered

CREE ............................ Center for Rural Empowerment and the Environment

CSC ............................... International Convention for Safe Containers

CTD .............................. conductivity, temperature, and depth

dB.................................. decibel

DC................................. drill center

DDIA ............................ Declared Drainage and Irrigation Areas

DP ................................. Dynamic Positioning

EBS ............................... environmental baseline surveys

EEA .............................. European Environment Agency

EEPGL.......................... Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Limited

EIA................................ Environmental Impact Assessment

EITI ............................... Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative

EMT .............................. emergency medical technician

EN ................................. Endangered

EPA .............................. Guyanese Environmental Protection Agency

ESMP ............................ Environmental and Socioeconomic Management Plan

EUNIS .......................... European Nature Information System



May 2017



EEPGL Environmental Impact Assessment

Liza Phase 1 Development Project



List of Acronyms



EX ................................. Extinct

EZZ ............................... Exclusive Economic Zone

F&G .............................. Fire and Gas

FAL ............................... Convention on Facilitation of International Maritime Traffic

FEED ............................ Front-End Engineering and Design

FGSI .............................. Fugro GeoServices Incorporated

FLET ............................. flowline end termination

FPSO............................. Floating Production, Storage, and Offloading

FSO ............................... Floating Storage and Offloading

FSV ............................... Fast Supply Vessel

ft .................................... Feet/Foot

Fugro ............................ Fugro Marine Geoservices, Inc.

Fugro EMU ................. Fugro EMU Limited

FWRAM ....................... Full Waveform Range-dependent Acoustic Model

GDP .............................. Gross Domestic Product

GEA .............................. Guyana Energy Agency

GEMSS-GIFT............... Generalized Integrated Fate and Transport

GGMC .......................... Guyana Geology and Mines Commission

GHG ............................. greenhouse gas

GINA............................ Government Information Agency

GLSC ............................ Guyana Lands and Surveys Commission

GMPHOM ................... Guide to Manufacturing and Purchasing Hoses for Offshore Moorings

GPHC ........................... Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation

GRA.............................. Guyana Revenue Authority

GT&T ........................... Guyana Telephone & Telegraph

GuySuCo ..................... Guyana Sugar Corporation

GWI .............................. Guyana Water Inc.

GYD .............................. Guyanese dollar

H2S ............................... hydrogen sulfide

ha .................................. hectares

HFC .............................. High-frequency cetaceans

HVAC .......................... Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning

IBA................................ Important Bird Area

ICSS .............................. Control and Safety System

ICZM ............................ Integrated Coastal Zone Management

IDB................................ Inter-American Development Bank

IFC ................................ International Finance Corporation

ILO................................ International Labor Organization

IMF ............................... International Monetary Fund

IMO .............................. International Maritime Organization

IOGP............................. International Oil and Gas Producers

ITCZ ............................. Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone

IUCN ............................ International Union for Conservation of Nature

IUU ............................... Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated

IWC .............................. International Whaling Commission

JNCC ............................ Joint Nature Conservation Committee

kbd................................ thousands of barrels per day



May 2017



EEPGL Environmental Impact Assessment

Liza Phase 1 Development Project



List of Acronyms



kHz ............................... kilohertz

km ................................. kilometers

LADCP......................... Lowered Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler

LC ................................. Least Concern

LCDS ............................ Low Carbon Development Strategy

LFC ............................... Low-frequency cetaceans

LME .............................. Large Marine Ecosystem

MA................................ Millennium Ecosystem Assessment

MACT .......................... Maximum Acceptable Toxicant Concentration

MARAD ....................... Maritime Administration

MARPOL 73/78.......... International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution by Ships, 1973,

as modified by the Protocol of 1978

MBES ............................ multi-beam echo sounder

MDG............................. Millennium Development Goal

MFC.............................. Mid-frequency cetaceans

mg/L ............................ milligrams per liter

mi .................................. miles

MICS ............................ Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey

MMO ............................ marine mammal observation/observer

MOC ............................. North Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation

MONM ........................ Marine Operations Noise Model

MoNRE ........................ Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment

MPV ............................. Multi-Purpose Vessel

MSC ............................. Marine Sustainability Council

mscfd ............................ million standard cubic feet per day

MW ............................... megawatt

M-weighted ................. Auditory weighting functions for marine mammals

N/A.............................. not applicable

NABF ........................... non-aqueous base fluid

NADF ........................... non-aqueous drilling fluid

NBC .............................. North Brazil Current

NBSAP ......................... National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan

NDC ............................. Neighbourhood Democratic Councils

NDIA............................ National Drainage and Irrigation Authority

NDS .............................. National Development Strategy

NTD.............................. Neglected Tropical Diseases

NEAP ........................... National Environmental Action Plan

NGO ............................. non-governmental organization

nm................................. nautical mile

NO2 ............................... nitrogen dioxide

NOAA .......................... U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

NOM ............................ naturally occurring organic matter

NT ................................. Near Threatened

O&G ............................. oil and grease

OAS .............................. Organization of American States

OCIMF ......................... Oil Companies International Marine Forum



May 2017



EEPGL Environmental Impact Assessment

Liza Phase 1 Development Project



List of Acronyms



OI .................................. Operations Integrity

OIMS ............................ Operations Integrity Management System

OSH .............................. Occupational Safety and Health

OSR............................... Oil Spill Response

OSRP ............................ Oil Spill Response Plan

P&A .............................. plugged and abandoned

PA/GA ........................ public address and general alarm system

PAH.............................. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons

PC ................................. Project Contribution

PCS ............................... Process Control System

PDA .............................. Project Development Area

PEC ............................... Predicted Environmental Concentration

PM10

particulate matter with aerodynamic diameter of less than 10

micrometers

PM2.5 ............................. particulate matter with aerodynamic diameter of less than 2.5

micrometers

POB .............................. personnel on board

POP .............................. Persistent Organic Pollutant

ppb ............................... parts per billion

PPE ............................... personal protective equipment

ppm .............................. parts per million

ppt ................................ parts per thousand

Pr/Ph Ratio ................. Ratio of pristane to phytane

Project .......................... Liza Phase 1 Development Project

PSC ............................... Private Sector Commission

PSV ............................... Platform Supply Vessel

PTS ............................... Permanent Threshold Shift

RMS .............................. root mean square

RO................................. reverse osmosis

ROV .............................. remotely operated vehicle

SBP................................ sub-bottom profiler

SBPA ............................ Shell Beach Protected Area

SC.................................. Scientific Committee

SCAT ............................ Shoreline Clean-up Assessment Technique

SDU .............................. Subsea Distribution Unit

SEA ............................... Strategic Environmental Assessment

SEL ............................... sound exposure level

SEP................................ Stakeholder Engagement Plan

SGSCS .......................... Suriname-Guyana Submarine Cable System

SHC .............................. Saturated and aliphatic hydrocarbons

SIS ................................. Safety Instrumented System

SO2 ................................ sulfur dioxide

SOLAS.......................... International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea

SPAW ........................... Specially Protected Areas and Wildlife

SPL................................ sound pressure level

SRU............................... Sulfate Removal Unit

SSHE ............................ Safety, Security, Health, and Environment



May 2017



EEPGL Environmental Impact Assessment

Liza Phase 1 Development Project



List of Acronyms



STCW ........................... International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and

Watchkeeping

SURF ............................ Subsea, Umbilicals, Risers, and Flowlines

TB.................................. Tuberculosis

THC .............................. total hydrocarbons

TIP ................................ Technical Information Paper

TOC .............................. total organic carbon

ToR ............................... Terms of Reference

TSS ................................ total suspended solids

TV ................................. Tug Vessel

UCM ............................. Unresolved complex mixture

UNAIDS ...................... Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS

UNESCO...................... United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization

UNFCC ........................ United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

UPS ............................... uninterruptible power supply

USD .............................. U.S. Dollars

USEPA ......................... U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

VLCC ........................... Very Large Crude Carrier

VOC.............................. volatile organic compounds

VSP ............................... Vertical Seismic Profile

VU ................................ Vulnerable

WBDF ........................... water-based drilling fluids

WHO ............................ World Health Organization

WRC ............................. Wider Caribbean Region

WRF.............................. Weather Research and Forecasting



May 2017



EEPGL Environmental Impact Assessment

Liza Phase 1 Development Project



-Page Intentionally Left Blank-



May 2017



List of Acronyms



EEPGL Environmental Impact Assessment

Liza Phase 1 Development Project



List of Acronyms



Glossary



Term



Definition



Anthropogenic



Made by humans, or attributable to human activity.



Barrel



The basic unit for measuring oil. A barrel is equal to 42 U.S. gallons.



Biogenic



Made by living organisms, or attributable to the activity of living organisms.



Biomagnification



Increasing concentration of a persistant substance, usually a pollutant or

toxin, in the tissues of organisms at successively higher levels in a food

chain



Borehole (or wellbore)



A deep, narrow hole drilled in the earth for the purpose of extracting a core,

releasing gas, oil, water, etc.



Casing



Steel pipe inserted into an oil or gas well to prevent the wall of the borehole

from caving in, to prevent movement of fluids from one formation to

another, and to improve the efficiency of extracting petroleum (for

producing wells).



Circumtropical



Distributed throughout the world's tropical latitudes.



Congregatory



Tending to gather in large groups on a cyclical or otherwise regular and/or

predictable basis



Crude oil



Liquid petroleum as it comes out of the ground. The properties of crude oil,

such as color, gravity, and viscosity, can vary.



Cuttings

cuttings)



(or



Broken bits of solid material produced as the drill bit advances through the

drill borehole in the rock or soil. Cuttings are usually carried to the surface by

the drilling fluid circulating up from the drill bit, and can be separated from

the drilling fluid using a variety of treatment methods (e.g., centrifuge).



Development well



A well drilled in a proven area in a field for the purposes of producing

hydrocarbons.



Drill ship



A self-propelled floating offshore drilling unit that is a ship constructed to

permit a well to be drilled from it. Drill ships are generally the preferred

option for drilling wells in deep, remote waters.



Drilling fluids



Specially-formulated fluids which are typically a mixture of barite, clay,

water, and other chemical additives. Drilling fluids are circulated into the

borehole to lubricate and cool the rotary drill bit, to lift the cuttings out of

the borehole and to the surface, and to help maintain well control.



A unit of energy based on the approximate energy released by burning one

Equivalent barrels (or barrel of crude oil. Quantities of natural gas and natural gas liquids are

barrel of oil equivalent often translated into barrels of oil equivalent (BOE). The energy content of

[BOE])

six thousand cubic feet of gas (6 MCF) is roughly equivalent to one barrel of

oil.



May 2017



EEPGL Environmental Impact Assessment

Liza Phase 1 Development Project



List of Acronyms



Term



Definition



Exploration



The search for oil and gas. Exploration operations include aerial surveys,

geophysical surveys, geological studies, core testing and the drilling of test

(wildcat) wells.



Exploratory well



A well drilled to 1) find oil or gas in an undiscovered or unproven area

(wildcat), or 2) extend the limits or depths of a known area.



Flare (or Flaring)



In the oil industry: A system of piping and burners used to dispose (by

burning) of surplus gas or vapors produced with the oil.



A floating vessel that is used for offshore oil and gas operations and is

Floating

Production

designed to process hydrocarbons and store oil until the oil can be offloaded

Storage

and

onto a tanker ship or transported via pipeline. The processing equipment

Offloading

(FPSO)

(or topsides) is located on the FPSO’s deck, while the oil storage is below the

vessel

deck within the hull of the vessel.

Flowline



The surface pipe through which oil travels from a well to processing

equipment or to storage.



Hydrostatic test



A way in which pressure vessels such as pipelines, plumbing, gas cylinders,

boilers and fuel tanks can be tested for strength and leaks. The test involves

filling the vessel or pipe system with a liquid, usually water, which may be

dyed to aid in visual leak detection, and pressurizing the vessel to the

specified test point. Pressure tightness can be tested by shutting off the

supply valve and observing whether there is a pressure loss.



Ichthyoplankton



Fish eggs and larvae that drift with the ocean currents, usually near the

surface, prior to developing directional swimming ability.



Injection well



A well in which fluids, such as gas or water, are injected to increase

pressure in the reservoir and drive the oil remaining in the reservoir to the

vicinity of production wells.



Lagrangian



Type of gridless atmospheric model in which pollutant particles move

according to the wind field, buoyancy, and turbulence effects. Term is often

used to differentiate such models from Eulerian models, which use a

gridded field.



Laydown area



An area that has been cleared for the temporary storage of equipment and

supplies. Laydown areas are usually covered with rock and/or gravel to

ensure accessibility and safe maneuverability for transport and offloading of

vehicles.



A specific area of water where persons, vessels, and other activities are

Marine

safety prohibited as the area has been designated for exclusive use by an activity; a

exclusion zone

form of safety control measure utilized to keep unauthorized persons and

vessels away from a higher risk activity/event.

Natural gas



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A highly compressible, highly expansible mixture of hydrocarbons, which

at atmospheric conditions of temperatures and pressure, are in a gaseous

phase.



EEPGL Environmental Impact Assessment

Liza Phase 1 Development Project



List of Acronyms



Term



Definition



Oil field



The surface area covering one or more reservoirs containing oil. The oil

field also usually includes the reservoir, the wells, and the production

equipment, etc.



Overboard water



Another name for produced water or brine produced from oil and gas wells.



Platform



An immobile structure used in offshore drilling on which the drilling rig,

crew quarters, and other related items are located.



Plugging of well



The sealing off of the fluids in the stratum penetrated by a well so that the

fluid from one stratum will not escape into another or to the surface.



Produced water



Water that comes up a well with the oil and gas. Produced water is usually

high in salinity. After leaving the well, the produced water is separated

from the oil and gas. Can also be referred to as formation water, saltwater,

or oilfield brine.



Production well



A well that is used to retrieve petroleum or gas from an underground

deposit.



Refinery



The facility where the characteristics of petroleum or petroleum products

are changed.



Reservoir



A porous and permeable sedimentary rock containing commercial

quantities of oil and gas.



Risers



The pipe and special fittings used on floating offshore drilling rigs to

establish a seal between the top of the wellbore, which is on the ocean floor,

and the drilling equipment, located above the surface of the water. A riser

pipe serves as a guide for the drill stem from the drilling vessel to the

wellhead and as a conductor of drilling fluid from the well to the vessel. The

riser consists of several sections of pipe and includes special devices to

compensate for any movement of the drilling rig caused by waves. Risers

are also used to connect subsea equipment to a surface facility such as an

FPSO.



Shorebase



The land based facility that provides logistical and material support for

offshore activities and facilities.



A group of mooring lines distributed from the bow and stern of a vessel

(FPSO) to anchors on the seafloor. The vessel is positioned in a fixed

heading, which is determined by the sea and weather conditions. The

Spread

mooring

symmetrical arrangement of anchors helps to keep the vessel on its fixed

anchor system

heading location. The spread mooring system does not allow the vessel to

weathervane, which means to rotate in the horizontal plane due to wind,

waves or current.

Structural casing



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The outer layer of large diameter, heavy-wall pipe installed in wells drilled

from floating installations to isolate very shallow sediments from

subsequent drilling, resist the bending moments imposed by the marine

riser, and to help support the wellhead installed on the conductor casing.



EEPGL Environmental Impact Assessment

Liza Phase 1 Development Project



List of Acronyms



Term



Definition



Tree



The assembly of valves, pipes and fittings used to control the flow of oil and

gas from the casing head.



Wellhead



A structure that is installed at the top of a natural oil or gas well. Its main

function is to ensure a safe operation and manage the flow of oil or gas from

the well into the gathering-system. It is a system composed of valves, spools

and assorted adapters that control the pressure of the production well. It

acts as an interface between the surface facilities and the casing-strings in

the wellbore.



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EEPGL Environmental Impact Assessment

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Environmental Impact Statement



ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT

EIS Executive Summary

Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Limited (EEPGL) proposes the “Liza Phase 1

Development Project” (Project) to develop the Liza field located in the Stabroek Block offshore

Guyana. EEPGL obtained an offshore prospecting license for the Stabroek Block from the

Government of Guyana. In 2015, oil was discovered in the Liza field within the eastern half of

the Stabroek Block approximately 190 km (~120 mi) offshore from Georgetown in waters

approximately 1,500 to 1,900 meters (m) deep. Subsequent surveys and exploratory drilling

have identified a reservoir of oil in a sandstone formation approximately 3,600 m below the

seabed (approximately 5,400 m below sea level). This reservoir is estimated to have a

recoverable resource of 0.8 to 1.4 billion oil-equivalent barrels.

EEPGL (45%), together with Hess Guyana Exploration Limited (30%) and CNOOC Nexen

Petroleum Guyana Limited (25%), are parties to a Petroleum Agreement with the Government

of Guyana. Under this agreement, and in light of the Liza field discovery, EEPGL has applied

for a Petroleum Production Licence and submitted a Project Development Plan to the Minister

Responsible for Petroleum.

A key permit required for EEPGL to develop the Liza field is the Environmental Authorisation

from the Guyana Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in accordance with the Guyana

Environmental Protection Act of 1996 (EP Act Cap. 20:05). As part of its regulatory role, the

EPA, considering recommendations from the Environmental Advisory Board (EAB) and

Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC), is responsible for deciding whether and

under what conditions to grant EEPGL’s Application for Environmental Authorisation

(Application), which was filed with the EPA on July 5, 2016. Based on an initial assessment of

the Project, the EPA determined that an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) was required.

The purpose of the EIA is to provide the factual and technical basis required by EPA, EAB, and

the GGMC to make an informed decision on EEPGL’s Application. EEPGL has conducted a

robust public consultation program to both inform the public about the Project and to

understand community and stakeholder concerns so this feedback could be incorporated and

addressed in the EIA, as applicable.

EEPGL proposes to drill approximately 17 subsea development wells and use a Floating

Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessel to process, store, and offload the recovered

oil. The FPSO will be connected to the wells via separate production (oil, gas, and produced

water), gas injection, and water injection flowlines and risers, and associated subsea equipment.

The Project will also involve shorebase facilities and marine/aviation services to support

development drilling, FPSO and subsea equipment installation, production operations, and

ultimately decommissioning. EEPGL will utilize proven and industry accepted standards and

has incorporated many embedded controls into the overall Project design to minimize

environmental and socioeconomic impacts. It could take up to four years to drill the wells, with

drilling planned to begin as early as 2018. The initial production is expected to begin by mid2020, with operations continuing for at least 20 years. The Project is expected to employ up to

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Environmental Impact Statement



600 persons during well drilling, approximately 600 persons at the peak of the installation stage,

and up to about 140 persons during production operations.

The planned activities of the Project are predicted to have minor impacts on physical resources

(i.e., air quality, marine sediments, and water quality), no impacts on coastal biological

resources, minor impacts on marine biological resources, and largely positive impacts on

socioeconomics. These predictions are based on the fact that the bulk of the Project activity will

occur approximately 190 km (~120 miles) offshore, and the Project will capture and re-inject

produced natural gas, which is not used as fuel on the FPSO, back into the Liza reservoir; treat

required wastewater streams prior to discharge to the sea; have a very small physical footprint

(e.g., infrastructure construction disturbs only about 0.3 km2 of benthic habitat); and use Marine

Mammal Observers (MMO) during selected activities to minimize the potential impacts to

marine mammals due to auditory injury and ships strikes.

Unplanned events, such as a large oil spill, are considered unlikely to occur because of the

extensive preventative measures employed by EEPGL. Nevertheless, an oil spill is considered

possible, and EEPGL has conducted oil spill modeling to evaluate the range of likely spill

trajectories and rates of travel. The location of the Project 190 km (~120 mi) offshore, prevailing

northwest currents, the light nature of the Liza field crude oil, and the region’s warm waters

would all help minimize the severity of a spill. Accounting for these factors, the modeling

indicates only a 5 to 10 percent probability of any oil reaching the Guyana coast, without taking

into consideration the effectiveness of any oil spill response, and in the unlikely event that a

spill were even to occur.

Although the probability of an oil spill reaching the Guyana coast is very small, a spill at a Liza

well would likely impact marine resources found near the well, such as sea turtles and certain

marine mammals that may transit or inhabit the area impacted by a spill. Air quality, water

quality, seabirds, and marine fish could also be impacted, although likely to a lesser extent

because the duration of acute impacts would not be long and the impacts are reversible. A spill

could potentially impact Guyanese fishermen if commercial fish and shrimp were impacted.

The magnitude of this impact would depend on the volume and duration of the release as well

as the time of year the release were to occur (e.g., whether a spill would coincide with the time

of year when these species are more common). Effective implementation of the Oil Spill

Response Plan (OSRP) would help mitigate this risk by further reducing the ocean surface area

impacted by a spill and thereby reduce oil exposure to these species.

As described above, although a large oil spill is considered unlikely and the probability of

reaching the Guyana coast is very low, nevertheless, given the sensitivity of many of the

resources that could be potentially impacted by a spill (e.g., Shell Beach Protected Area, marine

mammals, critically endangered and endangered sea turtles, coastal Guyanese and Amerindian

communities reliant on ecosystem services for sustenance and their livelihood), preparation for

spill response is warranted. Therefore, we believe it is critical that EEPGL commit to regular oil

spill response training exercises, document the availability of appropriate response equipment

on board the FPSO, and demonstrate that offsite equipment could be mobilized for a timely

response.



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Environmental Impact Statement



It is recommended that all EEPGL embedded controls, recommended mitigation measures, and

appropriate Environmental and Socioeconomic Management Plans, including an OSRP, be

adopted. With the implementation of such controls, mitigation measures, and management

plans, the Liza Phase 1 Development Project is expected to pose only minor risks to the

environmental and socioeconomic resources of Guyana, while potentially offering significant

economic benefits to the residents of Guyana.



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EIS 1.0



Environmental Impact Statement



INTRODUCTION



This Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) has been prepared for the Liza Phase 1

Development Project (Project) in accordance with the Guyana Environmental Protection Agency

(EPA) Environmental Impact Assessment Guidelines (November 2000) and the Project Final

Terms of Reference (February 2017).

This EIS was prepared by Environmental Resources Management (ERM), which is an

international environmental and social consulting firm with extensive experience in the

preparation of Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA) for offshore oil and gas development

projects. ERM is also a Guyana EPA registered consultant. EIA Appendix B provides the

Curriculum Vitae of the key members of the EIA team.

ERM did not encounter any specific difficulties in preparing the EIA. The information provided

on the Project and the resources found in the Project Development Area (PDA) were adequate

for ERM to prepare a robust impact assessment.



EIS 1.1



Project Sponsor



The Project Sponsor is a joint venture among Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Limited

(EEPGL), Hess Guyana Exploration Limited (Hess), and CNOOC Nexen Petroleum Guyana

Limited (Nexen). EEPGL will be the operator of the Project, and is used in this EIA to represent

the joint venture. EEPGL, which is an affiliate of ExxonMobil Corporation, was formed on

October 16, 1998 and subsequently registered in Guyana on June 29, 1999. ExxonMobil

Corporation, either directly or through subsidiaries, conducts oil and gas exploration activities

worldwide.



EIS 1.2



Project Context



EEPGL obtained an offshore petroleum prospecting license for the Stabroek Block from the

Government of Guyana. In 2015, oil was discovered in the Liza field within the eastern half of

the Stabroek Block approximately 190 kilometers (~120 miles) offshore from Georgetown in

waters approximately 1,500 to 1,900 meters (m) deep (Figure EIS-1). Subsequent surveys and

exploratory drilling have identified a reservoir of oil in a sandstone formation approximately

3,600 m below the seabed (approximately 5,400 m below sea level). This reservoir is estimated

to have a recoverable resource of 0.8 to 1.4 billion oil-equivalent barrels.

EEPGL, together with Hess and Nexen, are parties to a Petroleum Agreement with the

Government of Guyana. Under this agreement, and in light of the Liza field discovery, EEPGL

has applied for a Petroleum Production Licence and submitted a Project Development Plan to

the Minister Responsible for Petroleum.



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EEPGL Environmental Impact Assessment

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Figure EIS-1



Environmental Impact Statement



Location of the Liza Project Development Area within the Stabroek Block



* NOTE: Map does not represent a depiction of the maritime boundary lines of Guyana.



EIS 1.3



Purpose of the Project



The purpose of the Project is to achieve safe and efficient production of hydrocarbons from the

Liza field. A confidential Petroleum Agreement between EEPGL, Hess, Nexen, and the

Government of Guyana defines how revenues from the Project are to be shared between the

parties. The Government of Guyana would begin receiving oil revenues when oil is produced.



EIS 1.4



Regulatory Framework and Purpose of this EIA



In order to develop the Liza field, EEPGL needs to obtain approval of an Application for

Environmental Authorisation (Application) from the Guyana EPA in accordance with the

Guyana EP Act (Cap. 20:05). Toward that end, EEPGL filed its Application with the EPA on July

5, 2016. As part of its regulatory role, the EPA, taking into consideration recommendations from

the Environmental Advisory Board (EAB) and GGMC, is responsible for deciding whether and

under what conditions to grant EEPGL’s Application. Based on an initial assessment of the

Project, the EPA determined that an EIA was required. The purpose of this EIA is to provide the

factual and technical basis required by EPA, EAB, and the GGMC to make an informed decision

on EEPGL’s Application. If approved, the EPA would issue an Environmental Permit1 with the

terms and conditions necessary to effectively protect the environment.



1-The



Environmental Authorisation granted by the EPA is also commonly referred to as an environmental permit,

and may be used interchangeably.



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EEPGL Environmental Impact Assessment

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EIS 2.0



Environmental Impact Statement



PROJECT DESCRIPTION



The Project proposes to develop the offshore resource by drilling approximately 17 subsea

development wells and using a Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessel to

process, store, and offload the recovered oil. The FPSO will be connected to the wells via

associated equipment, collectively referred to as subsea umbilicals, risers, and flowlines (SURF),

to transmit produced fluids (i.e., oil, gas, produced water) from production wells to the FPSO,

as well as treated gas and water from the FPSO to the injection wells. The Project drilling and

production operations activities will collectively occur in what is referred to as the Project

Development Area (PDA), which is an approximately 50 km2 area located approximately 190

km (~120 mi) offshore (Figure EIS-2). The Project will also involve use of onshore shorebase

facilities and marine/aviation services to support development drilling, SURF and FPSO

installation, production operations, and ultimately decommissioning.

Figure EIS-2



Preliminary Liza Phase 1 Field Layout



Natural gas will be produced in association with the produced oil. EEPGL will use some of the

recovered gas as fuel on the FPSO, and proposes to re-inject the remaining gas back into the

Liza reservoir, which will assist in optimizing management of the reservoir. Alternative uses of

gas for future phases are being studied and would be addressed in a separate environmental

authorization.

Phase 1 will consist of essentially three stages: (1) Drilling and Installation, (2) Production

Operations, and (3) Decommissioning. Each of these stages is described briefly below.



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EIS 2.1



Environmental Impact Statement



Drilling and SURF/FPSO Installation



EEPGL will use one or two drill ships

Figure EIS-3 Typical Drill Ship

(Figure EIS-3), to drill the development

wells.

The

approximately

17

development wells are currently planned

to include eight production wells (for

recovering the oil), six water wells (to

inject water into the Liza reservoir to

maintain pressure), and three gas wells

(to re-inject recovered gas not used on

the FPSO into the reservoir). The wells

will be clustered around two drill

centers. For safety reasons, a 500 m

marine safety exclusion zone around the

drill ships and major installation vessels will be established to avoid interactions with

unauthorized vessels. For each well, the initial section (i.e., structural casing section) will feature

a pipe inserted into the borehole and cemented in place. This section will be drilled using water

based drilling fluids (WBDF), and drill cuttings from this section will be discharged to the

seafloor near the well. Subsequent (lower) sections of the wells will be drilled using low-toxicity

non-aqueous drilling fluids (NADF) with low to negligible aromatic content. The used cuttings

from the lower sections will be directed to the drill ship, where the drilling fluids will be

recovered for reuse to the extent practicable and the cuttings will be treated to limit the

percentage of fluid retained on the cuttings. After treatment, the cuttings are then discharged to

the sea.

Once each well is drilled, a wellhead and tree are installed and the well is connected to a

manifold, which is connected, as appropriate to an umbilical and production, gas, or water

flowline. The flowlines will be laid on the seafloor,

Figure EIS-4 FPSO

and risers will connect the seafloor infrastructure to

the FPSO. The flowlines and risers will be

hydrostatically tested with treated seawater to ensure

no leakage. After the testing, the hydrostatic water

used to test the water and gas injection flowlines will

be discharged near the seafloor, and the fluid used to

test the production flowlines will be recovered and

treated prior to discharging overboard.

The FPSO (Figure EIS-4) will be a converted double

hull tanker with the capacity to store 1.6 million

barrels of stabilized crude oil. The FPSO will be

secured to the seafloor by a 16- to 20-point spread mooring anchor system. The FPSO and the

mooring system are designed to remain in place for at least 20 years and to sustain extreme

(100-year return period) environmental conditions. The FPSO will also provide living quarters



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Environmental Impact Statement



and associated utilities for approximately 140 personnel. For safety reasons, the FPSO will have

a two nautical mile exclusion zone to avoid interactions with unauthorized vessels.



EIS 2.2



Production Operations



The FPSO will be designed to separate the recovered reservoir fluids into its oil, water, and gas

phases (Table EIS-1). The oil will be treated to remove impurities (e.g., sulfate and other salts)

and then sent to storage tanks in the hull. The water from the reservoir (referred to as produced

water) will be treated to remove hydrocarbons and will then be discharged to the sea. The FPSO

will dehydrate, compress, and re-inject the produced natural gas into the Liza reservoir,

although some of the gas will be used as fuel on the FPSO, and some gas may be occasionally

flared on a non-routine, temporary basis. The FPSO will also have the capacity to treat (by

filtration, deaeration, and sulfate removal) seawater for injection into the reservoir to maintain

reservoir pressure (and offset the withdrawal of reservoir fluids) to enhance oil production.

Table EIS-1



FPSO Key Design Rates



Service

Oil Production

Produced Water

Total Liquids

Produced Gas

Gas Injection

Water Injection



Design Rate*

100,000 barrels per day (bpd)

(designed to safely operate at sustained peaks of 120,000 bpd)

100,000 bpd

150,000 bpd

180,000,000 standard cubic feet per day

160,000,000 standard cubic feet per day

(assumes some produced gas will be used as fuel gas for the FPSO)

190,000 bpd



* Project facilities will have the potential to safely operate at sustained peaks above the design rate. For purposes of

this EIA, potential impacts generated by the Project (e.g., air emissions) were based on a potential peak production

volume of 144,000 bpd to be conservative in the analysis.



The FPSO will offload produced crude oil to conventional oil tankers on a regular basis. The

tanker, under the guidance of a Mooring Master, will maneuver to within approximately 120 m

(390 feet) of the FPSO and hold position with the aid of up to three tugboats (Figure EIS-5).

Crude oil will be pumped from the FPSO storage tanks to an offloading tanker using a floating

hose at a rate of approximately one million barrels of oil in about 28 hours.



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Environmental Impact Statement



Figure EIS-5



Typical FPSO Offloading to a Conventional Tanker



EIS 2.3



Decommissioning



Prior to the end of operations (estimated at approximately 20 years), EEPGL will initiate

detailed planning for facility decommissioning, including filing a Notice of Intent for

Decommissioning to the GGMC and EPA. All development wells will be permanently plugged

and abandoned. It is expected that the SURF equipment and the FPSO mooring lines will be

abandoned in place on the seafloor in accordance with standard industry practice (subject to the

decommissioning plan). The FPSO will be disconnected from its mooring system and towed to a

shipyard for decommissioning.



EIS 2.4



Onshore, Marine, and Aviation Support



Shorebases, laydown areas, warehouses, fuel supply, and waste management facilities will

support the Project across the Project stages as described above. EEPGL is planning to utilize

shorebases in Guyana and Trinidad to support the Project. Marine support will include various

supply vessels with an average of 12 trips per week during drilling and installation and about 7

trips per week during production operations. These vessels are planned to originate from

shorebases in Guyana and/or Trinidad. Aviation support is expected to average about 30 to 35

flights per week during drilling and installation and about 20 to 25 flights during production

operations.



EIS 2.5



Project Workforce



EEPGL estimates it will require a workforce of approximately 600 persons at the peak of the

development well drilling, approximately 600 persons at the peak of the installation stage,

approximately 150 shorebase and marine logistical support onshore staff (some of whom will be

Project-dedicated while others will be shared resources) at the peak of installation and drilling

activities, approximately 100 to 140 persons at peak of production operations, and

approximately 60 persons at the peak of decommissioning.



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EIS 2.6



Environmental Impact Statement



Project Schedule



It could take up to four years to drill the approximately 17 wells, with drilling planned to begin

in 2018 or 2019. Installation of the SURF and FPSO are likely to be initiated in 2019 to be ready

for initial production by mid-2020, with operations continuing for at least 20 years (Figure EIS6).

Figure EIS-6



Preliminary Project Schedule



EIS 2.7



Public Consultation



EEPGL has conducted a robust public consultation program to both inform the public about the

Project and to understand stakeholder concerns so this feedback could be incorporated into the

EIA, as applicable. EEPGL has held various workshops with the government and others

regarding offshore oil and gas development. EEPGL and/or ERM have held meetings with over

30 Guyana government agencies/commissions, many elected officials and Regional

Administrators, over 15 professional or business associations, various international and

domestic non-governmental organizations, several universities and research institutes, various

religious and ethnic organizations, and the media. EEPGL and ERM participated in two sector

agency scoping meetings, with over 150 attendees of which approximately 100 were members

of the general public. These were followed by six public scoping meetings in Regions 1 through

6, which had over 300 attendees, of which over 200 were public participants.



EIS 2.8



Alternatives



The EIA considered a range of potential Project alternatives, as summarized below.





Location Alternatives - The location of the Project, and the development wells in particular,

is driven by the location of the resource to be recovered. There are no meaningful

differences in location alternatives for the FPSO, SURF equipment, and drill centers within

the PDA, as the nature of the seafloor and the water surface are not expected to vary

appreciably across the area; thus, no environmental or social benefits would be achieved by

minor location modifications.



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Environmental Impact Statement



Development Concept Alternatives –

o Facility Type: Given the water depth and distance to shore of the Liza field, the

development alternatives are primarily limited to floating production systems (e.g.,

FPSO, semi-submersible, tension leg platforms). With the exception of the FPSO

concept, the other deepwater production systems would necessitate the use of a

separate Floating Storage and Offloading (FSO) vessel for oil storage and offloading,

which would increase environmental impacts. The FPSO was chosen because it is a

more efficient, stand-alone solution for deepwater oil processing and storage, and is

also the environmentally preferred alternative.

o Gas Disposition: Three primary alternatives were considered for addressing

associated gas produced during Phase 1 operations: gas re-injection, gas export, and

continuous flaring. Gas re-injection was determined to be feasible for Phase 1, and it

also provides benefits in reservoir management. As such, produced gas not used as

fuel gas on the FPSO will be re-injected under normal operations. Continuous flaring

of gas on a routine basis is not preferred, primarily due to the associated air

emissions. Gas export alternatives continue to be evaluated, particularly given

challenges related to commercialization of associated gas.

The FPSO has been

designed to allow for future gas export should an export alternative be identified.

Technology Alternatives – EEPGL is using the most appropriate industry-proven

technology in developing the Project in terms of well drilling, drilling fluids, equipment

selection, development concepts, and environmental management. EEPGL’s parent

company ExxonMobil and its contractors have extensive experience in delivering offshore

deepwater development projects around the world, particularly with FPSO and SURF

components, and are applying that knowledge, experience, and technology in the

development of the Project in Guyana.

No-go Alternative – Under this alternative the Project would not be executed and the

existing conditions in the PDA would remain unaffected by the Project, and the potential

positive and negative impacts assessed would not be realized. Therefore, evaluating the nogo alternative means evaluating the tradeoff between positive and negative impacts.



Overall, the proposed Project reflects optimized locational siting, appropriate development

concept, use of industry-proven technology, and also selection of the environmentally preferred

action alternative.



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EIS 3.0



Environmental Impact Statement



PROJECT IMPACTS



This section summarizes the predicted environmental and socioeconomic impacts of the Project

resulting from planned activities and potential unplanned events (specifically an oil spill), as

well the Project’s contributions to cumulative impacts on important resources and receptors.

The resources/receptors considered in this analysis are listed in Table EIS-2. The impacts of the

Project were evaluated against the conditions of the existing environment, as described in the

Section 6 of the EIA.

Table EIS-2



Resources and Receptors Considered in this EIA



Physical Resources

Air Quality and Climate

Sound

Marine Geology and Sediments

Marine Water Quality



Biological Resources

Protected Areas and Special

Status Species

Coastal Habitats

Coastal Wildlife and Shorebirds



Socioeconomic Resources

Economic Conditions



Seabirds

Marine Mammals



Marine Use and Transportation

Social Infrastructure and

Services

Cultural Heritage

Land Use

Ecosystem Services

Indigenous Peoples



Marine Turtles

Marine Fish

Marine Benthos

Ecological Balance and

Ecosystems



EIS 3.1



Employment and Livelihoods

Community Health & Wellbeing



Planned Activities



The Project is an offshore oil development and all drilling, installation, production operation,

and decommissioning activities will occur over 190 km (~120 miles) off the coast of Guyana.

The Project should not disturb any natural onshore habitats. There may be a minor increase in

traffic congestion near the onshore shorebases, and a Road Safety Management Procedure

should mitigate those impacts. The Project will generate benefits for the citizens of Guyana

through revenue sharing with the Government of Guyana, a minor increase in employment,

and select Project purchasing from Guyanese businesses. The only resources with the potential

to incur any meaningful adverse impacts from planned Project activities would be air quality

and marine-oriented resources (i.e., marine sediments, water quality, and biological resources),

which are discussed briefly below.



EIS 3.1.1



Air Quality



Emissions generated by the Project generally emanate from three source categories: (a) specific

point sources such as the power generating units and diesel engines on drill ships and on the

FPSO, (b) non-routine flaring used to combust produced gas when not consumed as fuel gas on

FPSO or re-injected, and (c) general area sources such as support vessels, construction vessels,

tug boats, and helicopters. Such emissions contribute to increases in the ambient air

concentrations of certain pollutants.

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Environmental Impact Statement



The CALPUFF model was used to assess the dispersion of air pollutants and the potential

impact for onshore human receptors. For all modeled constituents, the maximum onshore

concentrations predicted to result from Project activities are negligible relative to World Health

Organization (WHO) guidelines (the highest being less than or equal to 1 percent of the WHO

guideline).

The Project will also emit greenhouse gases (GHGs) throughout its predicted lifecycle, with

peak emissions during steady-state production operations stage estimated to be approximately

980 kilotonnes of CO2-equivalents per year. There are no applicable regulatory criteria against

which these GHG emissions can be compared, but these emissions are disclosed in accordance

with good international practice to aid in managing GHG emissions at a national and

international level. EEPGL proposes to re-inject recovered natural gas (which is not used as fuel

on the FPSO) back into the Liza reservoir, which represents a significant reduction in potential

GHG emissions versus that which would result from routine gas flaring.



EIS 3.1.2



Marine Water Quality



The Project will impact marine water quality in a localized manner via planned discharges

during well drilling, hydrostatic testing of the flowlines and risers following installation, and

production operations stages.

During well drilling as each well is started, the Project will release a small volume of WBDF and

cuttings at the seafloor. Low toxicity NADF will be used for the remainder of the well drilling,

but will be captured, recovered to the extent practicable, and reused. EEPGL would treat the

drill cuttings to reduce the drilling fluids retained on the cuttings prior to discharging

overboard. Modeling indicates that the residual NADF on the cuttings may have a localized,

minor impact on water quality.

During installation, the subsea flowlines and risers must be hydrostatically tested to confirm

there are no leaks. Treated seawater is used for this purpose to prevent biofouling. A hydrate

inhibiting substance, such as methanol or ethylene glycol, will also be used to prevent

formation of hydrates during commissioning of the production and gas injection lines. After the

completion of the testing, the hydrostatic test water and hydrate inhibitor from the gas injection

line will be released at the seafloor. The hydrostatic test water and hydrate inhibitor from the

production lines will be returned to the FPSO, treated, and discharged from the overboard

water line. These discharges would be a one-time, short term impact, and the treated seawater

and hydrate inhibitor would be quickly diluted within the water column.

During production operations, the FPSO will discharge five primary effluent streams to the

ocean (Table EIS-3). The FPSO systems associated with these discharges will be designed to

ensure applicable discharge criteria are met, which may require treatment in some cases.

Modeling indicates that concentrations of chemical constituents would be reduced to

insignificant levels within approximately 100 meters of the discharge point.



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Table EIS-3



Environmental Impact Statement



Summary of Production Operations Discharges



Discharges



Source



Cooling Water



Process water to dissipate heat

from FPSO systems, no

hydrocarbon contact



Potential

Contaminants

Temperature,

Chlorine



Discharge Rate Comments

≤ 700,000 bpd



Produced Water



Water separated from reservoir Oil & grease,

≤ 100,000 bpd

fluids

Temperature,

Residual

production and

water treatment

chemicals

Sulfate Removal

Removal of sulfates from

Biocide,

≤ 100,000 bpd

and Potable Water seawater prior to injection;

Chlorine,

Processing Brines potable water processing

Oxygen

scavenger,

Scale inhibitor

Domestic &

Sanitary

Wastewater



Personnel black and gray

water, food wastes



Offloading Tanker Offloading tanker will

Ballast Water

discharge ballast water as it

loads oil from the FPSO



EIS 3.1.3



Nutrients,

chlorine,

bacteria



9,000 bpd



None

anticipated



≤ 1,100,000

barrels during

each loading



Discharge will

meet

internationally

recognized

standards

limiting

increases in

ambient water

temperature.

Will be treated

to meet

internationally

recognized

limits on oil &

grease content.

Discharge

meets

applicable

standards

without

treatment.

Will be treated

in accordance

with

internationally

recognized

standards prior

to discharge.

Discharge will

be conducted in

accordance

with

internationally

recognized

standards.



Marine Sediments and Marine Benthos



The drilling of wells and the placement of flowlines and other subsea equipment will physically

disturb approximately 0.3 km2 of the sea bottom. After the initial structural casing section is

installed, the remaining NADF drill cuttings will be returned to the drill ship for treatment to

remove associated drilling fluids prior to discharge to the sea in order to meet acceptable

discharge thresholds. The planned discharge of NADF drill cuttings will result in the localized

accumulation of cuttings on the seafloor, primarily around the well locations, with the

distribution of deposition determined by oceanographic conditions. Modeling has indicated

that the discharge of these cuttings will not significantly impact sediment quality because of the



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Environmental Impact Statement



relatively low toxicity and expected dispersion. Overall, the Project impact on marine sediments

will be negligible.

Marine benthos (organisms living on the seafloor) could also be impacted by Project-related

seafloor disturbance by potential smothering from the drill cuttings. Based on surveys of the

seafloor, however, benthic organisms, primarily consisting of polychaete worms, occur at low

densities. Modeling indicates that smothering effects from drill cuttings would be limited to a

very small area around the well (approximately 43 m diameter area).



EIS 3.1.4



Marine Biological Resources



Marine resources (i.e., seabirds, fish, mammals, and turtles) have the potential to be impacted

by the Project, but it was determined that the significance of these impacts range from minor to

negligible for the reasons explained below.

The Project could impact seabirds by interfering with their migration (i.e., lights serving as

attraction), and potential exposure to the radiant heat from the flare. The Project lighting will be

downcast to minimize its attraction potential and flaring will be non-routine and temporary

(i.e., during select maintenance activities), so the overall Project impact on seabirds was

determined to be negligible.

The Project could impact marine fish by deterioration of water quality from the discharges

described above and the potential to entrain (suck in) fish at the cooling water intake. Modeling

indicates that water quality will return to near background conditions within 100 m of the

FPSO, so the area impacted will be very small, and fish are mobile and are known to avoid

areas with degraded water quality. Water intakes will be designed to minimize the entrainment

of fish.

Marine mammals may be impacted by two types of sound: continuous sound from vessels and

machinery operating in the PDA, and by comparatively louder, shorter duration impulse sound

from Vertical Seismic Profiling (VSP) and driven piles. Both the continuous sound and impulse

sound sources would be loud enough to cause injury in the immediate vicinity of the source,

but would attenuate to non-injurious levels approximately 10 m horizontal distance from the

vessels, approximately 100 m from the VSP, and approximately 1300 m from the driven piles (at

depths > 1000m). Many of the larger baleen whales and dolphins would naturally avoid the

area of potential effect (especially around Drill Center 2) because it would be deeper than their

typical maximum dive depths. Others, such as sperm whales, dive deep enough that they could

potentially be exposed to injurious sound levels throughout the PDA, however it would not be

expected that they would be exposed for continuous time periods predicted to be necessary to

result in injury. Vessel strikes would likely pose more of an immediate threat than auditory

injury. Marine observers will be used to monitor for mammals present prior to or approaching

during the VSP, and soft start procedures will be used to allow any mammals in the immediate

vicinity of the VSP and pile driving to vacate the area before sound levels reach potentially

injurious levels in accordance with JNCC guidelines. Vessel crews will also lookout for marine

mammals to minimize the potential for vessel strikes.



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Environmental Impact Statement



Marine turtles are generally considered to be less sensitive to marine sound than marine

mammals, so underwater sound from Project activities would not have the same potential to

impact marine turtles as marine mammals. The most significant potential Project-related

impacts on marine turtles would be from marine vessel strikes and the same measures

employed to manage risks of strikes on mammals would help manage risks of strikes on turtles.

Numbers of vessel trips are modest in relation to existing vessel activity in Guyana waters; thus,

impacts to marine turtles are not anticipated to result in a significant impact.



EIS 3.2



Unplanned Events



An unplanned event is defined as an event that is not planned to occur as part of the Project

(e.g., accidents), but that could potentially occur. Since these events are not planned, they are

evaluated using methods different from those used for planned events, specifically taking into

consideration the likelihood that an unplanned event will occur. For purposes of the Project,

three types of unplanned events were identified and considered – hydrocarbon spill, vessel

collision, and onshore vehicular accident. While a vessel collision and a vehicular accident

could result in injuries, significant injuries or fatalities would be expected to be rare occurrences

considering likely vessel and vehicle speeds in areas where risk of collisions is highest. Thus,

vessel collisions and vehicular accidents are considered to have small, temporary, and localized

impacts. The remainder of this section focuses on the potential impacts from an oil spill.

The Project will be producing, processing, storing, and offloading oil as its core activity, so the

risk of an oil spill would be present. EEPGL has identified nine spill scenarios, including spills

of different types of hydrocarbons (e.g., crude oil, marine diesel, fuel oil, lubricating oil, NADF),

with several being applicable for spills at the shorebases and on vessels in the Demerara River

estuary (e.g., from supply vessel) or in the Atlantic Ocean (e.g., from a well, drill ship, supply

vessel, tanker, FPSO). The largest of these scenarios considers a loss of well control incident at

the seafloor releasing 20,000 barrels of oil per day for 30 days.

EEPGL’s well control philosophy is focused on blowout prevention using safety and risk

management systems, management of change procedures, global standards, and trained

experienced personnel. EEPGL has a mature program that emphasizes attention to safety, well

control, and environmental protection. This includes proper preparation for wells (e.g., well

design, well control equipment inspection and testing), detecting changes in pressure quickly,

and efficiency in the process for temporary closing of a well (personnel training and proficiency

drills).

In addition to these prevention measures, EEPGL also has developed a detailed Oil Spill

Response Plan (OSRP) to ensure an effective response to an oil spill, if one were to occur. The

OSRP identifies the organizations that would respond to a release event depending on the

magnitude and complexity of the spill. The OSRP clearly delineates the responsibilities of each

entity that would take part in a response and describes how EEPGL would mobilize both its

own resources and those of its oil spill response contractors, as well as notifying the

government of Guyana with respect to mobilizing its resources.



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Environmental Impact Statement



Due to the precautionary measures proposed by EEPGL to prevent and control an oil spill, as

described above, the likelihood of an oil spill occurring is expected to be unlikely. Nevertheless,

EEPGL has conducted oil spill modeling and coastal sensitivity mapping to identify and

characterize the resources/receptors with the potential to be exposed to oil in the event of a

spill. An overview of this modeling and mapping is provided below.

The spill modeling evaluated the range of possible trajectories and rate of travel of an oil slick

from an extended loss of well control (20,000 barrels of oil per day for 30 days). Several factors

would inherently reduce the severity of an oil spill occurring in the Liza offshore development

area and would increase subsequent ecosystem recovery rates, including the following:

















Location of Spill – a Liza well control incident would occur approximately 190 km (~120 mi)

offshore. It would take some time for oil to reach the Guyana shoreline, which allows time

to implement the Project’s OSRP, and also allows more time for evaporative and dispersive

forces to act on the spilled material.

Prevailing Currents – the Guiana Current is a strong, nearly year round westerly flowing

current along the coast of Guyana. Modeling indicates that this current significantly reduces

the probability of spilled oil reaching the sensitive coastal resources of Guyana.

Properties of Spilled Oil – the Project will be producing a light crude oil, which has low

smothering potential and tends to spread readily on the ocean surface, both of which can

reduce severity of impacts to shoreline resources.

Climate – the relatively warm year-round waters of the Project area would keep any spilled

oil less viscous, which helps clean-up operations such as skimming and pumping.



The modeling predicted that surface oil would generally travel towards the northwest in all

scenarios during both the summer and winter seasons. The oil spill model indicates that even in

the unlikely event of an oil spill, there is only a 5 to 10 percent chance of shoreline oiling in

Guyana. It is important to note that this modeling does not account for any oil spill response

(e.g., aerial, vessel or sub-sea dispersant application, offshore containment and recovery, source

control operations), so any preventative measures taken to keep oil from reaching the coast

during a response would further reduce the potential of shoreline oiling in Guyana below the

estimated 5 to 10 percent.

It is highly unlikely oil spilled in the Liza field would reach the Guyana shoreline in the case of

an actual spill. In addition to the low probability of oil reaching the Guyana shoreline in the

absence of any spill response, it would take 5 to 15 days for oil to reach shore. This would allow

ample time for mobilization of spill response resources to further reduce the risk of oil actually

reaching the shoreline. Despite this, if oil were to reach the Guyana shoreline, those resources

most at risk would include protected areas (i.e., Shell Beach), coastal habitats (especially

mangroves and marshes), and coastal wildlife (especially birds and furbearers), as well as

coastal communities and indigenous peoples dependent on fishing in the ocean and other

ecosystem services (Table EIS-4). However, the combination of the low probability of an oil spill

actually reaching the shoreline and the time available to allow for spill response, results in the

residual risk to these resources being considered minor.



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Table EIS-4



Environmental Impact Statement



Coastal Resources Potentially Impacted by an Oil Spill



Resource



Potential Impact



Protected Areas



Per oil spill model, Shell Beach Protected Area and its vicinity

could be impacted if oil were to reach the Guyana shoreline.

Mangroves and wetlands are common habitats along the

Guyana coastline (and support many species) and are

considered sensitive to oil contamination.

Many rural coastal communities, and especially Indigenous

communities, rely on many ecosystem services (e.g., for food,

housing materials, medicinal plants, income producing

products, flood protection) for sustenance and livelihoods.



Coastal Habitats

and Wildlife

Ecosystem Services,

Coastal

Communities and

Indigenous Peoples



Residual

Risk Rating

Minor

Minor



Minor



Even though the probability of a spill impacting the coastal resources of Guyana is very low,

such an oil spill would likely have adverse impacts on marine resources in the area impacted by

the spill. Those resources most at risk would be water quality, seabirds, marine mammals, and

marine turtles, as described in Table EIS-5. Effective implementation of the OSRP would help

mitigate this risk by further reducing the ocean surface area impacted by a spill and oil

exposure to these species.

Table EIS-5



Marine Resources Potentially Impacted by an Oil Spill



Resource



Potential Impact



Marine Water

Quality

Seabirds



Dissolution of some spilled oil into the water column, but light

oil expected to degrade quickly and the impacts are reversible.

Seabirds are typically among the species most impacted by an

oil spill because they spend significant time on the water surface

and so may come in contact with the spilled oil, but seabirds are

primarily transient in the PDA.

Ingestion and respiratory irritation from inhalation of vapors at

the water surface, and the potential for fouling of baleen whale

plates, which are used to feed.

Dermal irritation from contact with oil, ingestion, and

respiratory irritation from inhalation of vapors at the water

surface.



Marine Mammals



Marine Turtles



EIS 3.3



Residual

Risk Rating

Moderate

Minor



Moderate



Moderate



Cumulative Impacts



The Project is located approximately 190 km (~120 mi) offshore, so there are few opportunities

for the Project to cumulatively impact resources that would be impacted by other activities.

There is the potential for other future offshore Guyana oil and gas exploration and possibly

development. If such non-Project activities were to occur, the Project and non-Project activities

together could cumulatively impact some resources such as Marine Mammals (via vessel strikes

or sound), Marine Turtles (vessel strikes), Marine Fish (degraded water quality and seawater

entrainment), Community Health and Wellbeing (increased demand on limited medical

treatment capacity), Marine Use and Transportation (marine congestion especially near



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Environmental Impact Statement



Georgetown harbor), and Social Infrastructure and Services (increased demand for limited

housing, utilities, and services). Many of the above potential impacts that require offshore

interaction between the Project and others have a limited chance of co-occurring, given the size

of the Stabroek Block. Thus, potential cumulative impacts were considered to be of Minor

significance.



EIS 3.4



Degree of Irreversible Damage



The planned Project would not cause irreversible damage to any onshore areas of Guyana.

There would be a very minor (approximately 0.3 km2) permanent loss of benthic habitat as a

result of the installation of wells, flowlines, and other subsea equipment, which may be

proposed to be left in place upon decommissioning. However, this equipment can ultimately

provide the substrate for recolonization of the impacted areas. Even in the unlikely event of an

oil spill, little irreversible damage would be expected, although it could take a decade or more

for all resources to fully recover, depending on the on the volume and duration of the release as

well as the time of year the release were to occur.



EIS 3.5



Environmental and Socioeconomic Management Plan



An Environmental and Socioeconomic Management Plan (ESMP) has been developed to

manage and mitigate the impacts identified in the EIA. The ESMP includes the following:





















Environmental and Socioeconomic Management Plan Framework

Environmental Management Plan, including:

o

Air Quality Management

o

Water Quality Management

o

Waste Management Plan

o

Marine Ecosystems Management

Socioeconomic Management Plan, including:

o

Stakeholder Engagement Plan

o

Grievance Management

o

Transportation and Road Safety Management

o

Cultural Heritage Management and Chance Finds

Environmental and Socioeconomic Monitoring Plan

Oil Spill Response Plan, including

o

Oil Spill Modeling

o

Coastal Sensitivity Mapping

o

Emergency Preparedness and Response Procedures

Preliminary End of Operations Decommissioning Plan



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EEPGL Environmental Impact Assessment

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Environmental Impact Statement



EIS 4.0



CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS



EIS 4.1



Conclusions



The planned Project is predicted to have minor impacts on physical resources (i.e., air quality,

marine sediments, and water quality), no impacts on coastal biological resources, minor impacts

on marine biological resources, and largely positive impacts on socioeconomics. These

predictions are based on the fact that the bulk of the Project will occur approximately 190 km

(~120 miles) offshore, and the Project will capture and re-inject produced natural gas; treat all

significant wastewater streams prior to discharge to the sea; have a very small footprint (e.g.,

only physically disturb about 0.3 km2 of benthic habitat); and use MMOs during VSP operations

to minimize the potential for auditory damage and injury from ship strikes to marine mammals.

The Project will generate benefits for the citizens of Guyana through revenue sharing with the

Government of Guyana, a minor increase in employment, and select Project purchasing from

Guyanese businesses.

Unplanned events, such as a potential oil spill, are considered unlikely to occur because of the

extensive preventative measures employed by EEPGL. Nevertheless, an oil spill is considered

possible, and oil spill modeling has been conducted to evaluate the range of likely spill

trajectories and rates of travel. The location of the Project 190 km (~120 miles) offshore,

prevailing northwest currents, the light nature of the Liza field crude oil, and the region’s warm

waters would all help minimize the severity of a spill. Accounting for these factors, the

modeling indicates only a 5 to 10 percent probability of oil reaching the Guyana coast, without

taking into consideration the effectiveness of any oil spill response.

Although the probability of an oil spill reaching the Guyana coast is very small, a well control

spill at a Liza well would likely impact marine resources found near the well, such as sea turtles

and certain marine mammals (especially baleen whales) that may transit or inhabit the area

impacted by a spill. Air quality, water quality, seabirds, and marine fish could also be impacted,

although likely to a lesser extent because the duration of acute impacts would not be long and

the impacts are reversible. A spill could potentially impact Guyanese fishermen if commercial

fish and shrimp were impacted. The magnitude of this impact would depend on the volume

and duration of the release as well as the time of year the release were to occur (e.g., whether a

spill would coincide with the time of year [May to September] when these species are more

common in the PDA). Effective implementation of the OSRP would reduce this risk by further

reducing the ocean surface area impacted by a spill and oil exposure to these species.

Table EIS-6 provides a summary of the predicted residual (taking into consideration proposed

mitigation measures) impact significance ratings for impacts to each of the resources/receptors

that may result from each of the Project stages (i.e., well drilling, SURF/FPSO installation,

production operations, and decommissioning), unplanned event (i.e., oil spill), and cumulative

impacts.



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EEPGL Environmental Impact Assessment

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Table EIS-6



Environmental Impact Statement



Summary of Residual Impact Ratings



Resource



Drilling and

Installation

Negligible

None

Negligible

Minor

None



Production

Operations

Negligible

None

None

Minor

None



Critically Endangered and

Terrestrial Species

Vulnerable/Near Threatened

Species (sharks & bony fish)

Endangered Fish and Black

Capped Petrel



Negligible



Negligible



Negligible



Minor



Minor



Minor



Minor



Minor



Minor



Minor



Negligible



Negligible



Negligible



Minor



Minor



Coastal Habitats

Coastal Wildlife/Shorebirds

Seabirds

Marine Mammals

Marine Turtles

Marine Fish

Marine Benthos

Ecological Balance &

Ecosystems

Economic Conditions

Employment/Livelihoods

Community Health &

Wellbeing

Marine Use/Transportation



None

None

Negligible

Moderate

Minor

Minor

Negligible



None

None

Negligible

Negligible

Negligible

Negligible

Negligible



None

None

Negligible

Negligible

Negligible

Negligible

Negligible



Minor

Minor

Minor

Moderate

Moderate

Minor

Minor



None

None

Negligible

Minor

Minor

Minor

Negligible



Negligible



Minor



Negligible



Minor



Negligible



Positive

Positive



Positive

Positive



Positive

Positive



Minor

Minor



Negligible

Negligible



Minor



Minor



Minor



Minor



Minor











Negligible

Minor

Minor



Negligible

Minor

Minor



Negligible

Minor

Minor



Minor

Minor

Minor



Minor

Minor

Minor



Negligible



Negligible



Negligible



Minor



Minor



Negligible

Negligible

None

None



Negligible

Negligible

None

None



Negligible

Negligible

None

None



Minor

None

Minor

Minor



Negligible

Negligible

None

None



Air Quality and Climate

Sound2

Marine Geology/Sediments

Marine Water Quality

Protected Areas

Special Status Species:**









Commercial cargo

Commercial fishing

Subsistence fishing



Social Infrastructure

/Services

Cultural Heritage

Land Use

Ecosystem Services

Indigenous Peoples



Decommissioning Oil Spill* Cumulative

Impacts

Negligible

Minor

Negligible

None

Minor

None

None

Minor

Negligible

Minor

Moderate

Minor

None

Minor

None



*Based on oil spill modeling of an unmitigated well control event in the PDA that indicates oil reaching Guyana

shoreline is highly unlikely (5-to 10 percent probability).

** Excludes listed sea turtles, which are covered in the Marine Turtles resource category.



2



Sound-related impacts on Marine Mammals are factored into the Marine Mammal impact assessment.



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Environmental Impact Statement



The Project will also generate benefits for the citizens of Guyana in several ways:





Through revenue sharing with the Government of Guyana, although the details of this

revenue sharing is confidential. The type and extent of benefits associated with revenue

sharing will depend on how decision makers in government decide to prioritize and

allocate funding for future programs, which is unknown and outside the scope of the

EIA;







By procuring select Project goods and services from Guyanese businesses to the extent

reasonably practicable; and







By hiring Guyanese nationals where reasonably practicable, although the potential

magnitude of hiring will be limited.



In addition to direct revenue sharing, expenditures, and employment, the Project would also

likely generate induced economic benefits as other non-Project related businesses benefiting

from direct Project purchases or worker spending will re-invest locally or expand spending in

the area, thereby also generating more local value-added tax. These beneficial “multiplier”

impacts will occur throughout the Project life.



EIS 4.2



Recommendations



ERM recommends the following measures be considered by EPA, GGMC, and the EAB as

conditions of any approval of the Project:











Embedded Controls – incorporate all of the proposed embedded controls (see EIA Chapter

11).

Mitigation Measures – adopt the recommended mitigation measures (see EIA Chapter 11).

Management Plans – implement the proposed Environmental and Socioeconomic

Management Plan.

Oil Spill Response –EEPGL has proactively embedded many controls into the Project design

to prevent a spill from occurring, and we agree that a spill is unlikely. But given the

sensitivity of many of the resources that could be impacted by a spill (e.g., Shell Beach

Protected Area, marine mammals, critically endangered and endangered sea turtles,

Amerindian communities reliant on ecosystem services for sustenance and their livelihood),

we believe it is critical that EEPGL commit to regular oil spill response drills, simulations,

and exercises, document the availability of appropriate response equipment on board the

FPSO, and demonstrate that offsite equipment could be mobilized for a timely response.



With the adoption of such embedded controls, mitigation measures, and management plans,

and requirements for emergency response preparedness, the Liza Phase 1 Development Project

is expected to pose only minor risks to the environmental and socioeconomic resources of

Guyana, while potentially offering significant economic benefits to the residents of Guyana.



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EEPGL Environmental Impact Assessment

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Chapter 1

Introduction



ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT

1.0 INTRODUCTION

Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Limited (EEPGL)3, together with its joint venture

partners Hess Guyana Exploration Limited and CNOOC Nexen Petroleum Guyana Limited, is

seeking an environmental authorization for the first phase of oil field development of the Liza

prospect in the eastern half of the Stabroek Block (hereafter referred to as the Liza Phase 1

Development Project, or the Project), which is located approximately 190 km (~120 mi) offshore

from Georgetown (Figure 1-1). Based on exploration and assessment activities in the Stabroek

Block, including three exploration wells (Liza-1, Liza-2, and Liza-3, respectively), EEPGL

believes these reservoirs potentially contain a recoverable resource of between 0.8 and 1.4

billion oil equivalent barrels.

Figure 1-1



Location of the Liza Project Development Area within the Stabroek Block



* NOTE: Map does not represent a depiction of the maritime boundary lines of Guyana.



3



EEPGL will be the operator of the Project, and is used in this EIA to represent the joint venture.



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EEPGL Environmental Impact Assessment

Liza Phase 1 Development Project



Chapter 1

Introduction



1.1 Purpose of this EIA

Guyanese law requires EEPGL to obtain an environmental authorization from the Guyana

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to undertake the Project. The EPA oversees the

effective management, conservation, protection, and improvement of the environment in

Guyana. In this role, the EPA is responsible for managing the environmental authorization

process. EEPGL filed an Application for Environmental Authorisation (Application) with the

EPA on July 5, 2016. Based on an initial assessment of the Application, the EPA determined that

an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) was required in support of the Application.

The purpose of this EIA is to provide the factual and technical basis required by EPA to make

an informed decision on EEPGL’s Application for Environmental Authorisation4 to permit the

Project. After submission and review of this EIA, the EPA takes into account recommendations

from the Environmental Advisory Board (EAB) and the Guyana Geology and Mines

Commission (GGMC), the public’s comments, and EPA’s own review, including support from

technical experts within other ministries, in deciding whether and under what conditions to

grant EEPGL’s Application.

The GGMC has several functions, including promoting and regulating the exploration and

development of the country’s mineral and petroleum resources. The Petroleum Division of the

GGMC is responsible for promoting Guyana’s petroleum potential and monitoring exploration

and production activities. GGMC oversees EEPGL’s Prospecting Licence, under which offshore

exploration and drilling activities (e.g., Liza 1, 2, and 3 wells) were conducted, and has received

EEPGL’s application for a Petroleum Production Licence and associated Development Plan for

the first phase of the Liza field development. GGMC will also provide technical input into the

review of the EIA, as discussed above, and will consider the findings of the EIA as part of its

evaluation of EEPGL’s application for Petroleum Production Licence for the Liza Phase 1

Project.

The EAB is an independent body that contributes to the development and review of the EIA

and makes recommendations to the EPA on whether the EIA should be accepted, amended, or

rejected and whether the environmental authorization should be granted, and if so, under what

terms and conditions.

This EIA was prepared by Environmental Resources Management (ERM), which is an

international environmental and social consulting firm with extensive experience in the

preparation of EIAs for offshore oil and gas development projects. In the Project’s Final Terms

of Reference (ToR), EPA approved ERM as the independent consultant to undertake the EIA.

This EIA has been prepared in compliance with the Guyana Environmental Protection Act (EP

Act, Cap.20:05), the Environmental Protection (Authorisation) Regulations (2000), the

Environmental Impact Assessment Guidelines – Volume 1, Version 5 (2004), the Environmental

Impact Assessment Guidelines – Volume 2, Version 4 (2000), other applicable Guyana

The Environmental Authorisation granted by the EPA is also commonly referred to as an environmental permit,

and may be used interchangeably.

4



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EEPGL Environmental Impact Assessment

Liza Phase 1 Development Project



Chapter 1

Introduction



regulations, international good practice, EEPGL’s corporate standards, and in accordance with

ERM’s standard practice.



1.2 EEPGL Exploration Well Drilling History

EEPGL has drilled five exploration wells within the Stabroek Block offshore Guyana, with a

sixth well planned in 2017, as indicated in Table 1-1 below. After completion of the exploration

testing, each of these wells was closed consistent with good industry practice. EEPGL has plans

to explore in other blocks, but no drilling has yet occurred outside of Stabroek Block.

Tab1e 1-1

Well Name

Liza-1

Liza-2

Liza-3

Skipjack

Payara

Snoek



EEPGL Stabroek Exploration Well Drilling History

Year Drilled

2015

2016

2016

2016

2016

Planned for 2017



Result

Successful (oil found)

Successful

Successful

Dry well (no oil found)

Successful

Not available



1.3 Goals and Objectives of the EIA

The goals of the EIA are to:









Provide the factual and analytical basis required by EPA and the GGMC to make an

informed decision on EEPGL’s Application for Environmental Authorisation to permit the

Project; and

Provide a basis for EEPGL to understand and appropriately avoid or manage the risks

imposed by the Project via design or other management measures.



In support of those goals and in accordance with the EIA Final ToR, which were approved by

the EPA on February 17, 2017, the underlying objectives of the EIA are to:

















Describe the Project, including its various components and activities and full life cycle

through to decommissioning;

Describe the existing conditions within the Project’s Area of Influence (AOI);

Identify and assess the potential direct and indirect environmental and socioeconomic

impacts that could credibly result from the Project using a risk-based assessment process;

Evaluate the potential for cumulative impacts;

Describe a strategy to manage the identified significant adverse impacts of the Project;

Characterize potential positive benefits of the Project; and

Recommend monitoring to assess the effectiveness of the management strategy.



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Chapter 1

Introduction



1.4 Components of the EIA

As required by the Guyana EP Act (Cap. 20:05) and further described in the Guyana

Environmental Impact Assessment Guidelines, this EIA includes the required components of an

EIA:













Project Description – see Chapter 2 of the EIA;

Environmental Baseline Studies – see Chapter 6 of the EIA;

Environmental Assessment – see Chapters 7, 8, and 10 of the EIA;

Environmental Impact Statement – provided at the beginning of the EIA; and

Environmental and Socioeconomic Management Plan – the Environmental and Social

Management Plan (ESMP) Framework is provided as Chapter 9 of the EIA.



EEPGL has elected to submit these components as one document.

The Environmental Impact Assessment Guidelines Volume 1 – Rules and Procedures for Conducting

and Reviewing EIAs (November 2004) includes as Appendix 2 an EIA Review Checklist.

Provided below in Table 1-2 is an EIA “roadmap” that shows where all of the Checklist “Items

Evaluated” can be found in this EIA.

Table 1-2



EIA Review Checklist “Roadmap”



EIA Review Checklist Items



Corresponding EIA Reference



1. Adherence to the ToR

 Adherence to the ToR confirmed

Adherence to the ToR must be verified simply by checking that

all items and information requested in the ToR have been

presented, regardless of the content or quality of such

information.

2. Multidisciplinary Team

The accuracy of the EIA depends on the qualifications of the

multidisciplinary team not only regarding the EIA process and

methods but also regarding their knowledge of the several stages

of the specific type of project. Therefore, individual CVs should

be submitted as part of the EIA Annexes. Signatures of each

member of the team must be affixed.



 Chapter 12 lists all team members and

references, Appendix A provides

signatures, and Appendix B includes

all CVs.



3. Inter-disciplinary Achievement

An EIA must present information regarding the interactions and

integration between the physical, biological and socio-economic

aspects of the environment in that particular area of the study.



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 Chapter 7 includes assessment of all

three categories of resources



EEPGL Environmental Impact Assessment

Liza Phase 1 Development Project



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Corresponding EIA Reference



4. Executive Summary

 Executive Summary included in EIS

The Executive Summary, also referred to as the non-technical

summary, should provide a brief description of the project and

information regarding the potential impacts of the project,

arranged in order of significance, along with the proposed

mitigation/compensatory measures for each impact. The

summary should end with the consultants’ recommendations.

5. Project Description

The process of environmental impact assessment depends on the

full understanding of the project proposal and accurate

identification of the project actions. If actions are unclear,

sufficiently detailed impacts are not likely to be identified with

the accuracy and specificity needed to enable the development of

appropriate mitigation measures.

5.01 Is the project proposal fully understood?

5.02 Are all phases identified (e.g. planning, construction,

operation and decommissioning)?

5.03 Is the geographical area for each phase identified?

5.04 Are the land use requirements for each phase identified?

5.05 Is there an inventory of the nature and quantity of materials

used in the production process?

5.06 Are there inventories of the type and quantity of products,

by-products and effluents expected to be produced by the project?

5.07 Is there an inventory of the type and quantity of residues?

5.08 Are the levels of emissions expected detailed with respect to

- Noise?

- Vibration?

- Light?

- Heat?

- Radiation?

- Gases?

- Liquids?

Are the types and levels of any other emissions included?

5.09 Is information on employment provided?



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 5.01 – see Chapter 2

 5.02 – see Section 2.3 (Drilling), 2.6

(Installation, Hookup, and

Commissioning), 2.7 (Production

Operations), and 2.9

(Decommissioning)

 5.03 – see Section 2.1, all stages occur

within this same area

 5.04 – see Section 2.8, only onshore

supply and support has any land

requirements

 5.05 – see Section 2.10

 5.06 – see Section 2.10

 5.07 – see Section 2.10

 5.08 – Noise impacts are quantified in

Section 7.2.5; thermal and liquid

discharges are quantified in Section

7.1.4; and air (gaseous) emissions are

quantified in Section 7.1.1

 5.09 – see Section 2.12



EEPGL Environmental Impact Assessment

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Corresponding EIA Reference



6. Identification and Description of Alternatives

The assessment of sound alternatives is necessary to validate the

EIA process. Therefore reasonable alternatives have to be fully

and comprehensively considered. As a minimum, one of the

following alternatives must be considered: location, project

layout, technology, scheduling, project scale.













6.01 – see Section 2.16

6.02 – see Section 2.16

6.03 – see Section 2.16

6.04 – see Sections 2.16 and 10



6.01 Did the developer consider alternatives?

6.02 Was the “no-project” scenario considered?

6.03 Were the environmental factors adequately presented for

each alternative?

6.04 Is the final choice adequate?



7. Definition and Justification of Physical Boundaries

(Direct and Indirect Area of Influence)



 See Section 5.1



Inconsistency in identifying the correct areas of influence will

inevitably lead to inconsistency in the baseline data and the

impact analysis. The indirect area of influence is the area likely

to be affected by indirect, secondary and/or long term impacts.

8. Analysis of the Legal Aspects Involved

 See Sections 3.1 through 3.3

The analysis of the legal framework involves more than a list of

legal Acts. It involves assessing the consequences for the project

of enforcing all the environmental legislation and regulations

regarding the proposed site and sectoral requirements related to

the proposed activity.

9. Identification of Other Existing Planned Activities or

Projects in the Area of Influence

This information is of utmost importance to ensure that land-use

and other types of conflicts do not arise later during the project

implementation.

9.01 Has the compatibility between the proposal and the

identified existing activities been analysed?

9.02 Are the activities compatible?

9.03 Does the inventory of existing activities match what is

observed?



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 See Chapter 8, which discusses other

activities in the AOI, as part of the

Cumulative Impact Assessment

 9.01 – see Section 8.1.2

 9.02 – see Section 8.1.2

 9.03 – see Section 8.1.2



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10. Adequacy and Completeness of Relevant Baseline

Data

Baseline data must be specific and relevant to the area of

influence. General and superficial information does not allow

for the use of adequate impact prediction techniques.













See Chapter 6

10.01 – see Chapter 6

10.02 – see Chapter 6

10.03 – see Chapter 6



10.01 Is the information presented specific and relevant?

10.02 Were difficulties in attaining information (if any)

documented?

10.03 Have the impact indicators identified been adequately

covered (see Section 13)



11. Appropriateness of EA Methods

The use of appropriate EA methods is necessary to ensure

reliability of the results of the EIA study. Each type of EA

method has different strengths and vulnerabilities regarding its

appropriateness to perform each step of the EIA study. Some EA

methods are unable to provide the means of identification of

cause-effect relationships; others do not enable the identification

of indirect, secondary and/or long-term impacts. Scientific and

technical accuracy of the EIA methods used must therefore be

evaluated to ensure the reliability of the conclusions drawn from

the impact assessment.



 See Chapter 4 for a description of the

EIA methodology

 See Chapter 7, which includes

description of analytical approach for

each resource



12.1. Physical Impacts

- Have all the identified impacts on air, water, soil, noise,

landscape and natural resources been checked against the

relevant impacts defined in the ToR?



 See Section 7.1, which addresses

impacts to physical resources



- Are impacts characterized (positive/negative, direct/indirect,

primary/secondary, short/medium/long term,

reversible/irreversible, temporary/permanent,

local/regional/national/strategic, avoidable/unavoidable)?

- Have the magnitudes been estimated?

- Have the impacts been assigned a significance?

- Have the social implications of the impacts been assessed?



12.2. Biological Impacts

- Have all the identified impacts on flora, fauna, rare /

endangered species, sensitive ecosystems, species habitats and

ecological balance been checked against the relevant impacts in

the ToR.



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 See Section 7.2, which addresses

impacts to biological resources



EEPGL Environmental Impact Assessment

Liza Phase 1 Development Project



Chapter 1

Introduction



EIA Review Checklist Items



Corresponding EIA Reference



- Are impacts characterized (positive/negative, direct/indirect,

primary/secondary, short/medium/long term,

reversible/irreversible, temporary/permanent,

local/regional/national/strategic, avoidable/unavoidable)?

- Have the magnitudes been estimated?

- Have the impacts been assigned a significance?

- Have the social implications of the impacts been assessed?

- Have cause/effect relations been properly identified?



12.3. Social and Health Impacts

Have all the identified impacts on the social and health context

been checked against the relevant impacts defined in the ToR?



 See Section 7.3, which addresses

impacts to socioeconomic resources



- Are impacts identified with respect to human health,

demographic and household characteristics, employment

opportunities, size and distinguishing characteristics of resident

population, the provision of social services and infrastructure?

- Are impacts characterized (positive/negative, direct/indirect,

primary/secondary, short/medium/long term,

reversible/irreversible, temporary/permanent,

local/regional/national/strategic, avoidable/unavoidable)?

- Have the magnitudes been estimated?

- Have the impacts been assigned a significance?

- Have the social implications of the impacts been assessed?

- Have cause/effect relations been properly identified?

- To what extent does the project protect/improve human health?

- To what extent does the project protect/improve human living

conditions?



12.4. Cultural, Historical and/or Archeological Impacts

- Have all the identified impacts related to cultural, historical

and/or archeological sites and heritage been checked against the

relevant impacts defined in the ToR?

- Are impacts identified with respect to cultural heritage?

- Are impacts characterized (positive/negative, direct/indirect,

primary/secondary, short/medium/long term,

reversible/irreversible, temporary/permanent,

local/regional/national/strategic, avoidable/unavoidable)?

- Have the magnitudes been estimated?

- Have the impacts been assigned a significance?



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 See Section 7.3.7, which addresses

cultural heritage resources



EEPGL Environmental Impact Assessment

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Introduction



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Corresponding EIA Reference



- Have the social implications of the impacts been assessed?

- Have cause/effect relations been properly identified?



12.5. Economic Impacts

- Have all the identified impacts on the economy (local, regional,

national) been checked against the relevant impacts defined in

the ToR?



 See Section 7.3, which addresses

economic resources (combined with

other socioeconomic resources)



- Are impacts identified with respect to economic assets and

activities?

- Are impacts characterized (positive/negative, direct/indirect,

primary/secondary, short/medium/long term,

reversible/irreversible, temporary/permanent,

local/regional/national/strategic, avoidable/unavoidable)?

- Have the magnitudes been estimated?

- Have the impacts been assigned a significance?

- Have the social implications of the impacts been assessed?

- Have cause/effect relations been properly identified?

- Are impacts identified with respect to income generation for the

community and at the National Level?

- Are impacts characterized (positive/negative, direct/indirect,

primary/secondary, short/medium/long term,

reversible/irreversible, temporary/permanent,

local/regional/national/strategic, avoidable/unavoidable)?

- Have the magnitudes been estimated?

- Have the impacts been assigned a significance?

- Have the social implications of the impacts been assessed?

- Have cause/effect relations been properly identified?



12.6. Other impacts

- Have all other impacts been checked against the relevant

impacts defined in the ToR?

- Are impacts identified with respect to _____________?

- Are impacts characterized (positive/negative, direct/indirect,

primary/secondary, short/medium/long term,

reversible/irreversible, temporary/permanent,

local/regional/national/strategic, avoidable/unavoidable)?

- Have the magnitudes been estimated?

- Have the impacts been assigned a significance?



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 Other potentially impacted resources

not specifically listed above have been

included, such as marine sediments,

marine use and transportation, and

indigenous peoples.



EEPGL Environmental Impact Assessment

Liza Phase 1 Development Project



Chapter 1

Introduction



EIA Review Checklist Items



Corresponding EIA Reference



- Has the social distribution of the impacts been identified?

- Have cause/effect relations been properly identified?



13. Cumulative Impacts

There may be cases where an activity/project will contribute to a

cumulative impact on the environment although individually it

may not have a significant environmental impact. This may be as

a result of the presence of similar activities within the vicinity of

the project.















13.01 - see Chapter 8

13.02 – see Section 8.2

13.03 – see Section 8.2

13.04 – see Section 8.2

13.05 – see Section 8.2



13.01 Have cumulative impacts been adequately identified and

characterized?

13.02 Have the magnitudes been estimated?

13.03 Have the impacts been assigned a significance?

13.04 Has the social distribution of the impacts been identified?

13.05 Have cause/effect relations been properly identified?

14. Impact Indicators Impact indicators are the parameters

used to estimate the magnitude of the impacts.

14.01 Were the impact indicators used adequate for all the

impacts identified?



 See Chapter 4, which outlines

approach for characterizing

magnitude of impacts

 See Chapter 7, which assesses

magnitude for impacts



15. Prediction Techniques

Impact prediction techniques are necessary to enable the

estimation of the magnitude of the impacts. Without the use of

adequate impact prediction techniques, accurate impact analysis

is not possible.



 15.01 – see Chapter 4, which describes

the impact assessment methodology

used; Chapter 7 describes

methodology and results of analytical

approaches for each resource/receptor

 15.02 – see Chapter 4



15.01 Have the impact prediction techniques used been

described?

15.02 Are they adequate?

16. Magnitude of Impacts

Magnitude is the estimate of the absolute

measure/value/dimension of the difference between the

environmental situation of a given parameter before and after the

project is implemented. In the majority of cases – physical,

biological and economic impacts – it must be expressed in

quantitative values. The estimation of the magnitude of each

relevant impact is one of the most important steps in impact

analysis. It ensures the accuracy of the EIA and allows for the



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 See Chapter 4, which describes the

approach for characterizing

magnitude of impacts

 Chapter 7 assesses magnitude for

impacts for each resource/receptor



EEPGL Environmental Impact Assessment

Liza Phase 1 Development Project



Chapter 1

Introduction



EIA Review Checklist Items

identification of appropriate and cost-effective mitigation

measures. Have the magnitude of all the relevant impacts been

adequately estimated (refer to impact indicators – Section 14)?



Corresponding EIA Reference



17.0 Importance/Significance of Impacts

Usual methods involve objective criteria regarding the ecological

and social relevance of the project

17.01 Is the relative importance/significance of each impact with

regard to the environmental factor affected, and with regard to

the other impacts given?

17.02 Is the significance based on objective criteria in order to

minimize subjectivity of judgments?



 17.01 – see Chapter 4, which describes

the approach for characterizing the

importance and significance of

impacts

 17.02 – see Chapter 7, which describes

the methodology and results of

analytical approaches for each

resource/receptor



18 Social Distribution of Impacts

Identifies which social groups will be affected by the positive and

the negative impacts. These groups are often not the same. The

balance between positive and negative impacts cannot be done

without the correct identification of the social distribution of the

impacts, because it would not have scientific and technical

relevance.



 See Chapter 7.3, which addresses

impacts to socioeconomic resources

(specifies affected groups)



19 Stakeholder Participation

19.01 Are the results of stakeholder participation, such as the

results of interviews, hearings etc. clearly documented?

19.02 Have questionnaires used been included?

19.03 Are the extent and method of stakeholder participation

adequate?

19.04 Are the conclusions drawn valid, based on available data?



 19.01 – see Section 4.5

 19.02 – No specific questionnaires

were used, but numerous Key

Informant Interviews, informal

meetings, capacity building

workshops as well as two

Agency/Sector scoping meetings and

six public scoping meetings from

Regions 1-6 were held.

 19.03 – see Section 4.5

 19.04 – see Section 4.5



20 Analysis and Selection of Best Alternative

 See Section 2.16 and Chapter 10

Selection must be based on criteria derived from the impact

assessment, and appropriate analysis and decision-making

methods must be used.

21 Environmental Management Plan (EMP)

 See Chapter 9 and the ESMP



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EEPGL Environmental Impact Assessment

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Chapter 1

Introduction



EIA Review Checklist Items



Corresponding EIA Reference



An EMP is sometimes called an Impact Management Plan. It is

a necessary step to ensure that the developer is effectively

committed to the implementation of the mitigation measures. It

is also a useful corporate management tool. Does the EMP, as a

minimum, present

- The set of mitigation, remedial or compensatory measures?

- A detailed description of each one, with indication and criteria

for their effectiveness?

- Detailed budgets for each one?

- Timetables for implementation?

- Assignment of responsibilities, including an Environmental

Manager?

- The Environmental Policy



22 Monitoring

 See Section 9.6 and the ESMP

Monitoring is a necessary step to ensure cost-effectiveness of the

EMP. It is usually addressed under the EMP (see Section 20)

Does the monitoring plan, as a minimum, address

- What is going to be monitored (impact indicators)?

- Where will samples be taken?

- How the samples will be analysed (method/technique)?

- Criteria used to evaluate the results?

- Financial and human resources required?



23 Implementation Plan for the Mitigation Measures and

the Environmental Management Plan

Implementation mechanisms must be in place to ensure effective

implementation of the mitigation measures and all other

recommendations that might arise from the EIA study. It usually

involves the assignment of a person responsible for

environmental management and an approved timetable for

implementation of measures.



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 See Chapter 9 and the ESMP



EEPGL Environmental Impact Assessment

Liza Phase 1 Development Project



Chapter 2

Project Description



2.0 PROJECT DESCRIPTION

Previous seismic testing and exploratory drilling have determined the presence of a high

porosity sandstone reservoir of crude oil with an estimated recoverable resource of 0.8 to 1.4

billion oil-equivalent barrels in an area referred to as the Liza field, located within the eastern

half of the Stabroek Block.

The purpose of this Project is to develop the Liza field and produce the oil in what is referred to

as the Liza Project Development Area (PDA). Phase 1 of the Project will consist of the drilling of

approximately 17 development wells, the installation and operation of Subsea Umbilicals,

Risers, and Flowlines (SURF) equipment, the installation and operation of a Floating

Production, Storage, and Offloading (FPSO) facility, and ultimately Project decommissioning.

The Project will also involve onshore facilities and marine/aviation services to support

development drilling, installation, production operations, and decommissioning.

This section discusses the following information related to the Project:

































Project location;

Overview of development concept;

Drilling and well design;

SURF;

FPSO vessel, including topsides facilities and the vessel mooring system;

Installation, hook-up, and commissioning activities;

Production operations, including offloading by conventional tankers;

Onshore, marine, and aviation support;

End of operations (decommissioning);

Materials, emissions, discharges, and wastes;

Embedded controls;

Project workforce;

Worker health and safety;

Project schedule; and

Project alternatives.



2.1 Project Location

The Stabroek Block, which covers an area of approximately 26,800 km2, is oriented roughly

parallel to the Guyana coastline, extending across the entire width (northwest to southeast) of

Guyana territorial waters. Figure 1-1 illustrates the location of the Liza PDA, which is located

approximately 190 km (~120 mi) from the coastline northeast of Georgetown, within the

Stabroek Block.

Figures 2-1 and 2-2 illustrate the preliminary conceptual layout of the FPSO, SURF equipment,

and drill centers within the Stabroek Block; their proximity to the Liza-1, Liza-2 and Liza-3

exploration wells; and the subsea and surface extents of the PDA, respectively.



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EEPGL Environmental Impact Assessment

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Figure 2-1



Chapter 2

Project Description



Subsea Project Development Area for FPSO Installation, SURF, and Drill

Centers within Stabroek Block



Note: Locations on figure subject to change.



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EEPGL Environmental Impact Assessment

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Figure 2-2



Chapter 2

Project Description



Surface Project Development Area for FPSO and Drill Centers within Stabroek

Block



Note: Locations on figure subject to change.



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EEPGL Environmental Impact Assessment

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Chapter 2

Project Description



The locations of the future development wells will be finalized before Project implementation;

however, the decision has been made that the wells will be drilled from two main drill centers5.

During the development drilling, installation of the FPSO/SURF facilities, and production

operations stages, work may be performed in the area denoted on Figure 2-1 as the Subsea

PDA, covering an estimated 4,500-5,000 hectares (ha). Most of this subsea area will not be

physically disturbed; the estimated subsea area to be disturbed during installation of SURF

equipment and the FPSO mooring system (see Figure 2-1) is approximately 400,000 m2 (30 ha)

(incorporating a 50 percent contingency factor).

During the development drilling and FPSO production operations stages, work may be

performed on the surface of the ocean within the area denoted on Figure 2-2 as the Surface

PDA, also covering an estimated 4,500-5,000 ha. As further described in subsequent sections

and represented on Figure 2-2, some of the ocean surface would have operational constraints

that would restrict unauthorized vessels from entering a defined safety exclusion zone during

drilling, installation, and production operations. Note, however, that while Figure 2-3 shows

four potential exclusion zones around the drilling locations, a maximum of only two drill ships

will be operating at any one time. The safety exclusion zones for the large installation vessels

are not specifically denoted on Figure 2-2; however, exclusion zones similar to those for the drill

ships will be maintained for these vessels while working in the PDA.



2.2 Overview of the Development Concept

2.2.1 Development Concept

The Liza field will be developed during Phase 1 with approximately 17 development wells

drilled from two drill centers, each with separate production, gas, and water injection

manifolds. Figure 2-3 illustrates the preliminary field layout of the proposed Liza field

development, which includes the development wells, SURF, and a spread-moored FPSO vessel.

The facility layout will continue to evolve during the design development process. The various

components shown on Figure 2-3 are further described in the relevant Drilling, SURF, and FPSO

sections in this chapter.



A drill center is defined as a group of wells (including production, water injection, and/or gas injection wells)

clustered around one or more manifolds. Each drill center incorporates separate manifolds that are separated by

several kilometers and are designed for production or injection. For example, Drill Center 1 will be separated into 1-P

(production) and 1-I (injection) components.

5



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EEPGL Environmental Impact Assessment

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Figure 2-3



February 2017



Chapter 2

Project Description



Preliminary Liza Phase 1 Field Layout



17



EEPGL Environmental Impact Assessment

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Chapter 2

Project Description



The development wells consist of production wells, water injection wells, and gas injection

wells. A portion of the associated gas (i.e., gas entrained in the wellstream) produced from the

reservoir will be used onboard the FPSO as fuel gas, and the remaining balance will be reinjected back into the reservoir via the gas injection wells. Alternative uses of gas for future

phases are being studied and would be addressed in a separate or amended EIA. Water

injection will be used as needed to maintain reservoir pressure for optimal production over the

life cycle of the Project.

The Liza field will be developed using a spread-moored FPSO (see Section 2.5). The FPSO will

be a converted double hull Very Large Crude Carrier (VLCC) that will support the topsides

facilities, process the produced wellstream from the production wells, and store the processed

crude oil. Offloading of the processed crude oil for export will occur directly to conventional

tankers in a tandem configuration. Subsea production, gas, and water injection wells and

manifolds will be tied back to the FPSO via flowlines and risers (see Section 2.4).



2.2.2 Applicable Codes, Standards, and Management Systems

The various aspects of engineering design and operations will be carried out according to

applicable Guyana statutory requirements, applicable international design codes and standards,

as well as the EEPGL Operations Integrity Management System (OIMS)6 and the EEPGL Safety,

Security, Health, and Environment (SSHE) policies7. EEPGL and its contractors will have

structured management systems to verify the ongoing application of all necessary codes,

standards, procedures, and SSHE management systems. An overview of the EEPGL OIMS

Framework is included in Section 3.



2.3 Drilling and Well Design

2.3.1 Drilling Program

The Project proponent is considering the use of up to two drill ships, similar to the drill ship

shown on Figure 2-4, to drill the development wells during Phase 1. Both drill ships may be

operated simultaneously. Drilling operations may occur prior to, during, and after the

installation of the FPSO and SURF components.



http://corporate.exxonmobil.com/company/about-us/safety-and-health/operations-integrity-managementsystem

7 The SSHE policies are part of the overall Standards of Business Conduct policy:

http://corporate.exxonmobil.com/en/company/about-us/guiding-principles/standards-of-business-conduct

6



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EEPGL Environmental Impact Assessment

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Figure 2-4



Chapter 2

Project Description



Typical Drill Ship



During the drilling process, drill ships will require various tubulars, instruments, and devices

(collectively referred to as the drill string) to conduct the well construction process, which will

be as follows: drilling the borehole, running and cementing casings, and installing the

completion and production tubing. The drilling program will employ high-angle and extended

reach drilling technologies. These technologies allow wells to reach targets up to approximately

4 km (~2.5 mi) from the drilling seabed location. The wells will be clustered around two drill

centers rather than distributed over the producing reservoir. This approach reduces the number

of drilling locations, thereby reducing the area potentially impacted by drilling operations

including discharged drill cuttings8. The planned development drilling program and its cuttings

management approach is consistent with industry practices, considered protective of the

environment, and has been the basis for the Liza-1, Liza-2 and Liza-3 exploration wells.



2.3.2 Typical Well Design

Once the borehole is started for a well, pipe (also known as casing) must be inserted into the

borehole and cemented in place (to keep the well from collapsing and to seal the casing to the

formation). As shown on Figure 2-5, various sized casings will be progressively set as the wells

are drilled deeper. The size and strength of the casings to be used in the design of the well takes

into account the peak reservoir temperature and pressure conditions that may be encountered

during drilling and during production operations when the wells are flowing reservoir fluids.

After each casing string cement job is completed, pressure testing will be performed to confirm

Drill cuttings are the broken bits of solid material produced as the drill bit advances through the borehole in the

rock or soil. The cuttings are usually carried to the surface by drilling fluid circulating up from the drill bit.

8



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integrity according to standard industry practices. A provisional well program and design,

including casing types and sizes, setting depths, drilling fluid types, and discharge locations for

the development drilling program is shown on Figure 2-5.



Figure 2-5



Provisional Casing Program for Development Drilling Program



The first (i.e., most shallow) section of each well, also known as the structural casing section,

will be jetted or drilled with seawater. Drill fluids and cuttings from this section will be

discharged to the sea at the mudline without treatment per standard industry practice. For each

subsequent section of the well to be drilled, the drill string will be removed and the casing will

be lowered into the hole to prevent its collapse. Wet cement will then be pumped down the

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casing and forced into the annular space between the hole and the outside of the casing, as well

as into the annular space between the present and previously set casing.

The conductor casing, which is designed to hold back seabed surface soils and support the

weight of the entire well, is then set and cemented back to the seabed. Drilling fluids and

cuttings from this section will be discharged to the sea at the mudline per standard industry

practice.

A drilling riser will be deployed to connect the conductor casing and the drill ship, and the

blowout preventer9 (BOP) will be installed. Marine drilling risers with buoyant joints and

tension will be used to connect the wells via the BOP to the drill ship. BOPs will be periodically

tested during the well construction process.

After this point, all returns of drilling fluids and cuttings will be directed to the drill ship for

treatment (i.e., solids control and centrifugal cuttings dryer system) to reduce solids in the

fluids as well as the fluids retained on cuttings. After treatment, the cuttings will be discharged

to the sea from the drill ship. Based on prior analysis from the Liza-1 exploration program,

cuttings disperse in the ocean current as they descend through the water column, which

typically prevents significant accumulations of cuttings in any particular location on the

seafloor.

The surface casing will then be set and cemented in competent rock at a depth below the

mudline to allow drilling to the top of reservoir. The production casing will be set and

cemented at the top of reservoir, and it is the casing string in which the production tubing is

run.

The production tubing carries the reservoir fluids from the production zone to the wellhead

when the wells are flowing. The production tubing includes the subsurface safety valve (SSSV),

which is designed to mitigate the uncontrolled release of fluids from the reservoir during the

production process. The production tubing also protects the production casing from corrosion

and deposition of by-products, such as sand, paraffins, and asphaltenes.

After the production tubing is run, the well will be suspended (i.e., flow prevented) by

installing barriers to flow; the riser and BOPs will be removed; and the subsea tree will be

installed and tested. At that point, the well is ready for future connection to the SURF

components.

Figure 2-6 shows the various components of a typical subsea drilling system.



Blowout preventers are secondary safety devices that are installed at the top of a well, which may be closed in order

to prevent the uncontrolled flow of liquids and gases in the event of a loss of well control during drilling operations.

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Figure 2-6



Chapter 2

Project Description



Typical Subsea Drilling System



Riser Tensioners

Riser Tensioners

Riser Tensioners

Riser Tensioners



Riser Tensioners

Riser Tensioners



Telescopic Joint

Telescopic Joint



Riser Tensioners

Riser Tensioners



Upper flex joint (UFJ)

Upper flex joint (UFJ)

Telescopic Joint

flex joint (UFJ)

Upper flex Upper

joint (UFJ)

Telescopic Joint

Upper flex joint (UFJ)

Upper flex joint (UFJ)

Joint Upper flex joint (UFJ)

TelescopicTelescopic

Joint

Upper flex joint (UFJ)

Joint

TelescopicTelescopic

Joint

Marine Drilling Riser with

bare joints,

pupRiser

joints

and

Marine

Drilling

with

buoyant

Marine

Drilling

Riser

withjoints

Marine Drilling

Riser

with bare

joints,

pup joints and

Marine Drilling Riser with

bare

joints,

pup

joints

and

bare joints,

pupRiser

joints

and

buoyant

joints

Marine

Drilling

Riser

with

Marine

Drilling

with

buoyant

joints

buoyant

joints

bare joints,

pupRiser

joints

and

Marine

Drilling

with

bare

pup

bare

joints,

pupjoints,

joints

and joints and

buoyant

joints

buoyant joints

buoyant joints

bare

joints,

pup joints and

buoyant joints



Lower Marine

Riser Package

Lower (LMRP)

Marine

Lower

Marine

Lower Marine

with Riser

Lower

Flex Joint

(LFJ)

Package

(LMRP)

Blow-out Preventer (BOP)

Lower Marine Riser Package

Riser(LMRP)

Package

Lower

MarineFlex Joint (LFJ)

Lower

Marine

with (LMRP)

Lower

Blow-out Preventer (BOP)

Subsea

System (SSWHLD)

Riser Package

with

Lower

FlexWellhead

Joint

(LFJ)

with Riser

LowerPackage

FlexRiser

Joint

(LFJ)

Lower (LMRP)

Marine

Package

(LMRP)

(LMRP)

Blow-out (BOP)

Preventer (BOP)

Blow-out Preventer

with Riser

LowerPackage

Flex Joint

(LFJ)

Subsea

System

(SSWHLD)

(LMRP)

FlexWellhead

Joint

(LFJ)

with Lowerwith

FlexLower

Joint

(LFJ)

Blow-out

Preventer

(BOP)

Blow-out (BOP)

Preventer

(BOP)

Blow-out Preventer

Mudline

(ML)

SubseaSystem

Wellhead

System (SSWHLD)

Wellhead

(SSWHLD)

with Lower FlexSubsea

Joint (LFJ)

Blow-out Preventer (BOP)

Subsea Wellhead System

(SSWHLD)

Mudline (ML)

SubseaSystem

Wellhead

System (SSWHLD)

Subsea

Wellhead

(SSWHLD)

Mudline (ML)

Mudline (ML)

Subsea Wellhead System (SSWHLD)

Mudline (ML)

Mudline (ML)

Mudline (ML)

Mudline (ML)



2.3.3 Drilling Fluids

Two categories of drilling fluids will be used: water-based drilling fluids (WBDF) and lowtoxicity non-aqueous drilling fluids (NADF) in which the continuous phase is an International

Oil and Gas Producers Association (IOGP) Group III non-aqueous base fluid (NABF) with low

to negligible aromatic content. WBDF will be used when drilling the upper sections of the well.

To avoid formation of hydrates (ice-like crystals) due to the cold water temperature and high

pressure, salt or organic inhibitors may be added to the WBDF.

Based on wellbore stability analysis and experience gained from Liza-1 and Liza-2 drilling,

NADF will be required to maintain borehole stability while drilling all well sections below the

conductor casing.

Cuttings treatment equipment will be installed on the drill ships to allow recovery of NADF

and reduce the percentage of NABF retained on cuttings (%BFROC). The cuttings will be

discharged to the sea after treatment, in accordance with standard industry practice. The use of

cuttings dryers on other similar projects has significantly reduced the %BFROC.

During completion activities, a solids-free weighted brine composed of a fresh water base with

water–soluble salts will be utilized. Viscosified brine-based fluid will be utilized during

displacement and gravel packing operations. The brine will be filtered through diatomaceous

earth and cartridge filters. Brine, gravel pack fluids, proppant, diatomaceous earth (fossilized

skeletal remains of marine diatoms), and filtered solids will be discharged to the sea in

accordance with standard industry practice.

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Any unused or used and recovered drilling fluids and products will be re-used, recycled or

disposed of in accordance with applicable regulations and best practices. A preliminary list of

the types of drilling, completion and treatment fluids that may be utilized can be found in

Section 2.10.



2.3.4 Well Cleanup and Ancillary Processes

To facilitate well cleanup, development wells will be drilled, completed, and tied-back to the

FPSO. Completion and treatment fluids and solids left in the wellbore will be flowed back to the

FPSO, where they will either be treated and discharged or collected for onshore disposal. The

wells will not be cleaned up to the drill ship using temporary well test equipment; but, rather,

all wells will be cleaned up through the subsea tree/flowlines/production equipment on the

FPSO. Such small quantities of fluids will be incorporated with the crude product from other

wells. Resulting gas and water will be processed along with fluids from other wells. No well

tests of the Phase 1 development wells are planned.

Vertical Seismic Profile (VSP) data may be collected to improve velocity modeling and reduce

uncertainty in reservoir mapping. VSP surveys can be used to correlate the surface-seismic data

to the information on the physical properties and characteristics of the hydrocarbons gained

from drilling the well. VSP data provides further time/depth information to improve

knowledge and understanding of the structure and stratigraphy of the reservoir.

A VSP survey, which can be conducted from a drill ship or other support vessel, requires a

sound source (commonly compressed air) and a receiver. Data is acquired by the receiver,

which is installed within the wellbore. The source may be located with zero offset from the well

(directly above the wellbore), at a fixed offset (a defined lateral distance from the well), walk

away (at a range of offsets), or walk above (at zero offset to the down hole well location). The

final scope of the VSP survey and specific geophysical tools to be used is still under review.



2.4 Subsea, Umbilicals, Risers, and Flowlines

The SURF facilities concept for the Project is comprised of subsea production trees, and

gas/water injection trees clustered around subsea manifolds in two subsea drill centers. The

risers, flowlines, and umbilicals10 will connect the subsea facilities on the seafloor to the FPSO.

The production manifolds will consolidate the production fluid from the individual production

wells to the flowlines, and the injection manifolds will distribute injection gas/water to the

individual gas/water injection wells. The subsea production control system on the FPSO will

monitor and control the subsea facilities through an umbilical and subsea control distribution

system that supplies power, communication, hydraulic fluid, and chemicals. The hydraulic

fluid for operating the subsea hydraulic valves will be a low-toxicity, water soluble hydraulic

fluid. The SURF system will be designed to withstand the full shut in pressure from the

production wells, and the gas/water injection components will be designed to withstand the

An umbilical is a cable and/or hose that provides the electrical, hydraulic, chemical, and communications

connections needed to provide power and control between the FPSO and subsea equipment.

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highest required injection pressures. Overpressure protection will be provided on the FPSO, in

accordance with industry standards, to protect the subsea systems. Figure 2-7 shows an

illustration of a representative SURF system similar to what is currently being designed for the

Project.

Figure 2-7



Representative SURF System



Note: Schematic is not necessarily representative of number of drill centers or wells.



The production drill centers will be connected to the FPSO with round-trip piggable production

flowlines. A pig is a specially designed device that is placed in the riser/flowline at a launcher

at one end and pushed by pressure until it reaches the receiving trap or catcher at the other end.

Pigging is performed to aid and assist in the maintenance, operations, cleaning, and inspection

of flowlines. Figure 2-8 shows an example of a pig.

Figure 2-8



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2.4.1 Well Flow Connections

Well flow connections between the subsea wells and the FPSO include several components.

Each subsea development well is capped by a subsea tree, which include several isolation

valves and a choke valve to control production and water and gas injection. For a given set of

wells tied to the same manifold, the subsea trees are connected by well jumpers to the subsea

manifold, which is then connected by flowline jumpers to flowline end terminations (FLETs)

located towards the drill center end of the flowline.

A typical configuration of the subsea trees, FLETs, flowlines, and manifolds expected at a drill

center for the Project is indicated on Figure 2-9.

Figure 2-9



Representative Subsea Trees, FLETs, Jumpers, and Manifold



From the drill center, the rigid flowlines travel on the seabed to the vicinity of the FPSO and

transition to vertical risers, where they connect to the FPSO at the surface. The risers carry fluids

up to the FPSO at the surface, as shown on Figure 2-10. In the case of injection streams (i.e., for

gas and water injection), the same configuration is used, but flow is from the FPSO downward

through the risers to the water or gas injection manifolds.



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Figure 2-10



Chapter 2

Project Description



Representation of Riser Connected to FPSO



2.4.2 FPSO Topside Subsea Control System

The FPSO will provide power, utilities, cabling, and tubing tie-ins to subsea control equipment

installed on its topsides to control the subsea equipment. The FPSO will be configured with

back-up power, in the event primary power is lost.

The subsea trees and manifolds will be monitored and controlled through the subsea control

system on the FPSO via a dynamic and static steel tube umbilical. Subsea control system will

accommodate typical monitoring requirements such as pressure and temperature measurement.



2.4.3 Risers, Flowlines, Umbilicals, and Manifolds

2.4.3.1 Risers and Flowlines

The Project will incorporate production, water, and gas injection flowlines and risers, as shown

on Figure 2-3. Flowline and umbilical lengths will range from approximately 3.2 to 6.4 km

(~2 mi to 4 mi), excluding risers, in water depths of approximately 1500 to 1900 m. The current



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design lengths are based on preliminary shallow hazard surveys and current field layout, which

may be adjusted during detailed design.



2.4.3.2 Umbilical

The umbilical (Figure 2-11) will be designed as an integrated bundle of tubes and cables to

transport hydraulic fluid, injection chemicals, and electrical power/communication. A single

dynamic umbilical, which will be connected to the FPSO at the surface and end at production

Drill Center 1 (DC1-P), will service the Liza field during Phase 1. In-field umbilicals will be used

to further distribute these services to the other subsea equipment.

Figure 2-11



Representative Integrated Dynamic Umbilical Cross Section



2.4.3.3 Manifolds

Manifolds are gathering points, or central connections made up of valves, hubs, piping, sensors,

and control modules. Manifolds include a protective structural framework that rests on a

seabed foundation where multiple trees, jumpers, and flowlines gather to consolidate flows

before they are either transported to the FPSO on the surface as part of production or back

down for injection of water and gas into the reservoir (Figure 2-12).



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Figure 2-12



Chapter 2

Project Description



Representative Subsea Manifold



2.4.3.4 Gas Lift System

The FPSO riser support system will be designed for gas lift capability. The gas lift system is not

required for initial startup, and it will be installed at some time during the Project production

operations stage based on the production characteristics of the Liza reservoirs. This system will

include a riser and flowline to DC-1P with connections to the production flowlines.



2.5 Floating Production, Storage, and Offloading Vessel

2.5.1 General Description

The FPSO vessel to be utilized for the Project will be a VLCC tanker, which utilizes a spread

moored configuration to maintain station continuously for at least 20 years. The FPSO will be

designed to receive the full production wellstream from the development wells and will process

crude oil at a design rate of 100,000 barrels of oil per day (BOPD), with potential to safely

operate at sustained peaks of up to approximately 120,000 BOPD. For the purposes of this EIA,

potential impacts generated by the Project will be based on the highest potential oil production

volume, which is conservatively based on 144,000 BOPD11. The FPSO hull will be capable of

storing a minimum of 1.6 million barrels of stabilized crude oil. The FPSO will be able to offload

approximately 1 million barrels to a tanker in a period of approximately 28 hours.



11



144,000 BOPD is 20% over the sustained peak volume of 120,000 BOPD.



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The FPSO will also have the capability to process, dehydrate, compress, and re-inject the gas

produced from the reservoir. The FPSO will be configured to treat seawater used for facility

cooling purposes for injection into the reservoir, and to treat produced water for disposal

overboard into the sea. Living quarters and associated utilities will be provided in order to

support the operations on the FPSO.

Table 2-1 provides an estimate of the design rates for the FPSO facility. Although the Project

nameplate oil production capacity is 100,000 barrels per day (bpd), the Project facilities will

have the potential to safely operate at sustained peaks above the design rate. For purposes of

this EIA, potential impacts generated by the Project (e.g., air emissions) were based on a

potential peak production volume of 144,000 bpd to be conservative in the analysis.

Table 2-1



FPSO Key Design Rates



Service

Oil Production (bpd)

Produced Water (bpd)

Total Liquids (bpd)

Produced Gas (Mscfd)

Gas Injection (Mscfd)

Water Injection (bpd)



Design Rate(1) (2)

100,000

100,000

150,000

180

160 (assumes 20 Mscfd of produced gas will be used

as fuel gas for the FPSO)

190,000



Notes:

bpd = barrels per day

Mscfd = million standard cubic feet per day

1 All design rates are presented as the peak annual average.

2 The facilities will have the potential to safely operate at sustained peaks of oil production up to approximately

120,000 bpd. For the purposes of the EIA, 144,000 bpd has been used as the basis to analyze potential impacts from

the Project.



Key FPSO design features include the following:











The FPSO will be designed to remain moored for at least 20 years without dry-docking and

will include facilities to support in-water hull/structural surveys and repair and

maintenance.

The FPSO will be designed to operate in extreme (100-year return period) environmental

conditions (associated wind, waves, and current).

The FPSO will be designed to re-inject the produced gas back into the reservoir, except

during times of injection system unavailability, which will require temporary, non-routine

flaring.



A computer simulated picture of the planned FPSO and a general schematic of a converted

FPSO topsides and hull are provided on Figures 2-13 and 2-14, respectively.



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EEPGL Environmental Impact Assessment

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Figure 2-13



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Project Description



Computer Simulated Picture of Planned Liza Phase 1 FPSO



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Figure 2-14



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Project Description



General Schematic of a Converted FPSO Topsides and Hull



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2.5.2 FPSO Topsides

The FPSO’s topsides design employs an interconnected module concept where process

equipment is packaged in modules. The design concept maximizes pre-commissioning and

functional testing of the modules prior to arrival offshore Guyana. The FPSO will arrive for

installation, hook-up, and commissioning in the Stabroek Block fully fabricated, pre-assembled

and most facilities, modules, components and systems pre-tested.

The principal functions of the topsides process facilities will be:





To receive, separate, and process the produced reservoir fluids to provide:

o

o



o









a crude oil product for offloading onto conventional tankers,

produced water from the reservoir to be of sufficient quality for environmentally

acceptable discharge to the sea, and

produced gas to meet requirements for FPSO turbine generator fuel gas and for reinjection into the reservoir;



To treat seawater to provide a suitable supply of injection water to support the reservoir

depletion plans; and

To provide support systems for the safe accommodation of approximately 80-120 personnel

involved in the operation of the production facilities and, on occasion, personnel involved

with the drilling program.



Temporary accommodations may also be utilized during key activities including hook-up,

commissioning and maintenance operations to increase accommodations capacity up to

approximately 140 personnel.



2.5.3 FPSO Process Systems

The process facilities on the FPSO topsides are shown schematically on Figure 2-15 and are

described in the subsequent sections.



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Figure 2-15



Chapter 2

Project Description



Process Flow Diagram



HP Flare

LP Flare



Notes:

GI = Gas re-injection

WI = Water injection

HP = High pressure

IP = Intermediate pressure

LP = Low pressure

SRU = Sulfate Removal Unit



2.5.3.1 Oil / Water / Gas Separation and Oil Desalting

An inlet manifold will receive full wellstream fluids (consisting of oil, gas, and water) from the

production flowlines and will route the fluids to the FPSO processing facilities. The wellstream

fluids will be separated into oil, water, and gas phases in a single train of separation. The

separation train consists of three stages (high, intermediate, and low pressure) of flash

separation to produce a stabilized crude product. Fresh water will then be added to the

stabilized crude product to remove dissolved salts as part of oil desalting. The final crude oil

product from the flash separation / stabilization process will be treated to meet the

specifications for sale prior to being sent to the crude product storage tanks in the FPSO hull.

Further processing of the water and gas streams from the separation process and the process for

treating seawater for injection are described below.



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2.5.3.2 Gas Processing

For Phase 1, the Project will re-inject produced gas (that will not be consumed as fuel gas on the

FPSO) back into the reservoir. The purpose of the FPSO gas processing system is to condition

the associated produced gas (which is not consumed as FPSO fuel gas) to the appropriate

specification prior to re-injection into the reservoir. It comprises systems to compress gas,

dehydrate gas, and direct gas to be re-injected.

During equipment maintenance and process upsets, including startup and shutdown scenarios,

part or all of the off-gas from the separation/stabilization process will be sent to the High

Pressure (HP) or Low Pressure (LP) Flare Systems. Flaring will be temporary and non-routine.

Flaring is discussed in more detail in Section 2.5.4.3 below.



2.5.3.3 Produced Water Treatment

The produced water treating system will be designed to collect produced water from the FPSO

processing facilities and treat the water for discharge overboard per standard industry practice.

The system will consist of primary and secondary treatment. Primary treatment will consist of

either a skim vessel or hydrocyclones for removal of large oil droplets from the produced water.

Secondary treatment will consist of a gas flotation for removal of small oil droplets in order to

meet the discharge specification. Produced water that does not meet the overboard discharge

specification will be routed to an appropriate tank in the hull for further treatment.



2.5.3.4 Seawater Treatment and Water Injection System

Water injection will be used for reservoir pressure maintenance to enhance oil production.

Seawater used for injection water will be treated prior to injection into the producing reservoirs,

per standard industry practice. The seawater treatment system will include sea lift pumping,

filtration, deaeration, and sulfate removal. Seawater lift pumps on the FPSO will be used to

pump seawater from depths up to 100 meters below the surface in order to access colder

seawater than what is available from the ocean surface. The filtration system will consist of both

coarse filtration (strainers) and fine filtration (multi-media filtration) for removal of particulate

from the incoming seawater. Following filtration, seawater will be vacuum deaerated for

removal of oxygen. The deaerated seawater will then be pumped through a membrane system

for removal of sulfate ions from the seawater as the final treatment step. The treated seawater

will then be pumped to the necessary pressure for injection into the producing reservoir.

A portion of the treated seawater will be further treated through a reverse osmosis system to

make fresh water. Fresh water is required for removal of salt from the crude product as part of

oil desalting, as described in Section 2.5.3.1.



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2.5.4 FPSO Utility Systems

This section discusses the utility system requirements for the FPSO. For the most part, the utility

systems designed to support the process facilities will be located above deck. Marine utility

systems may be used to support topside systems where appropriate.



2.5.4.1 Process Cooling

Cooling of process streams via a closed loop, water-based cooling medium system is required to

dissipate heat generated by the oil and water treating systems, the compression systems, and

miscellaneous utility systems.

The seawater lifting system described in Section 2.5.3.4 will also supply the required seawater

for cooling. Process hydrocarbon fluids do not come into contact with this seawater. Treated

seawater will be disposed of overboard at a suitable temperature so as not to significantly

impact marine life.



2.5.4.2 Process Heating

A process heating system is required as part of the crude oil treatment process to achieve the

required crude oil product specifications. A closed loop, water-based heating medium system

will be used to add heat to the incoming production. Waste heat from the power generation

system will be used as the source of heat.



2.5.4.3 Flaring System

EEPGL intends to re-inject all operationally produced gas under routine conditions, except that

which will be utilized for FPSO operations (e.g., fuel gas). A flare system will be provided for

the collection and safe disposition of produced hydrocarbon gases resulting from unplanned,

non-routine relief and blowdown events. Relief events occur to prevent overpressure scenarios

in the process equipment. Blowdown events occur to depressure the facilities in a controlled

manner as a result of emergency shutdown events. In addition, temporary, non-routine flaring

will occur during equipment maintenance, process upsets, and start-up. The flare system will

include both an HP and LP flare sharing a common flare tower, as shown on Figure 2-15. The

flare tower has elevated flare tips for both high and low pressure flares, which provides for the

safe ignition of hydrocarbon gases. Both flares will support high-efficiency combustion and will

utilize pilots that have minimal emissions.



2.5.4.4 Topsides and Subsea Chemical Injection

The FPSO will have storage and injection facilities to inject the required amounts of chemicals

and methanol into the production fluids to support production operations, both for subsea

chemical injection requirements and for topsides chemical injection requirements. These

chemicals are further described in Section 2.10. Table 2-6 provides a summary of the key

effluent characteristics for planned discharges to water.



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2.5.4.5 Air

An air compression system will be provided to supply FPSO hull and topsides equipment.

Compressed air is primarily required for the operation of control valves and other process

instrumentation requirements.



2.5.4.6 Nitrogen

Instrument air will feed the nitrogen generation system. Nitrogen will be provided as required

for purging (i.e., removing residual amounts of products), inerting (i.e., introducing nonflammable gas to prevent ignition), blanketing (i.e., filling vapor space in tanks with nonflammable gas to prevent ignition), and as required for miscellaneous utilities.



2.5.4.7 Drains

The FPSO topsides shall be equipped with the following drain systems:







Non-hydrocarbon open drain. Used to collect drain fluids (e.g., rainwater) from nonhydrocarbon areas and to route them to the slop tank in the FPSO hull or direct overboard.

Hydrocarbon open drain. Used to collect drain fluids (e.g., oil contaminated water) from

hydrocarbon areas and to route them to the slop tank in the FPSO hull.



2.5.4.8 Other

Two deck cranes will be provided for supply boat offloading and materials handling and to

support general maintenance activities. Workshops, a laboratory capable of checking the

properties of the produced and injection fluids as well as select discharges for compliance,

medical facility, and storage facility for supplies and spare parts will also be provided. Heating,

Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems will be provided for buildings and

enclosures.



2.5.5 Power Generation System

The required power for the FPSO will be generated by three systems as follows:













The main power generation system will be gas turbine driven generator sets with spares

available in the case of unplanned downtime. All generator sets will be dual fuel (diesel,

produced gas) capable to allow for restoring power to the facility (i.e., black start).

The essential services power generation system will be a diesel driven generator set.

Essential services include systems required for facility restart and for flow assurance

hydrate mitigation activities after an unplanned shutdown.

The vessel emergency power generator set will be diesel driven and will provide power to

both the hull and topsides emergency systems (e.g., safety systems including emergency

lighting, telecommunication).



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Additionally, for back-up power during emergency situations, the uninterruptible power

supply (UPS) system will be provided to power equipment such as the Integrated Control and

Safety System (ICSS) and subsea controls, among others.



2.5.6 Integrated Control and Safety System (ICSS)

Monitoring and control of the FPSO production operations will be performed by an ICSS.

Located in the main control room of the FPSO, the ICSS will include process shutdown,

emergency shutdown, and fire and gas systems to protect the facilities and personnel. These

systems will interface to a public address and general alarm system (PA/GA) to provide

distinct audible and visual alarm notification.

The ICSS includes the Process Control System (PCS), Safety Instrumented System (SIS), the Fire

and Gas (F&G) system, the Alarm Management System (AMS), the Operator graphics /

consoles; and the third-party interfaces to packaged systems (such as compressors, subsea, and

marine, among others).



2.5.7 Communication Systems

Telecommunications equipment will be installed on the FPSO to enable safe operation of the

facilities in normal and emergency conditions. This equipment will allow communication with

the shorebase, support vessels, helicopters, and tankers as well as communication on the FPSO.



2.5.8 Additional Vessel Systems

2.5.8.1 FPSO Cargo Systems

The main purpose of the FPSO cargo system will be:









To receive, distribute, and store on-specification crude oil from the process facilities into the

FPSO cargo tanks;

To receive and store off-specification crude oil from the process facilities into a designated

FPSO cargo tank; and

To offload the crude oil stored in the FPSO cargo tanks into a conventional tanker at regular

intervals.



In addition to the FPSO cargo tanks, there will be a slop tank to receive stripping water from the

cargo tanks and discharge from the topsides non-hazardous and hazardous drain system. The

oil and water will be gravity-separated by a minimum residence and retention time. Once

separated, the oil will be skimmed off the top and sent to the cargo tanks, and the water will be

discharged overboard to specification.

The FPSO cargo tanks will be blanketed with inert gas. As depicted on Figure 2-15, a tank vent

system will be provided to release vapor and inert gas from the cargo tanks to a safe location,

toward the bow of the FPSO, to prevent an overpressure event in the tanks.



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The marine cargo system supports the following routine activities:









Flushing of the crude oil offloading export hose;

Emergency and temporary ballasting of FPSO cargo tanks with seawater; and

Inspection and maintenance of FPSO cargo tanks and piping systems between offloading

operations.



2.5.8.2 Custody Transfer Meter

For offloading, crude will be pumped from the FPSO hull storage tanks through a custody

transfer metering package on the topsides and into the offloading system at a rate sufficient to

achieve transfer of approximately 1 million barrels of oil in up to 28 hours up to a VLCC class

tanker size.



2.5.8.3 Crude Oil Offloading

Export of the crude oil from the FPSO will be via a floating hose to the midship manifold of a

conventional tanker. The FPSO will be configured for tandem offloading to a conventional

tanker which will be owned/operated by others. The separation distance between the stern of

the FPSO and the conventional tanker will be approximately 120 m (390 ft). The maximum

conventional tanker size envisioned is a VLCC class. During offloading operations, the

conventional tanker will maneuver and hold station relative to the FPSO with the aid of up to

three assistance tugs, as shown on Figure 2-16. Crude will be transported to buyers’ final

location by the conventional tankers after each offloading operation.

Figure 2-16



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General Offloading Configuration



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2.5.8.4 Ballast System

Ballast water will be required during the transit from the shipyard to the site. Once on site, the

unneeded ballast water from the FPSO may be discharged overboard.



2.5.8.5 Spread Mooring System

The FPSO will be permanently moored by fixed, spread mooring with up to a 20 point mooring

line system each connected to their respective anchor pile embedded into the seafloor. The

anchor piles will be either suction piles or driven piles. The mooring system will be designed to

maintain the FPSO on station for a 100-year environmental condition.



2.5.9 Safety and Personnel Protection Systems

FPSO safety systems will include:















Firewater System – The firewater system will have one pump each located at the fore and aft

ends of the FPSO, with one pump serving as a redundant backup.

Fire and Gas Detection Systems – Fire and smoke detectors will be located throughout the

topsides and living quarters and will be wired centrally with alarms sounding in the central

control room (CCR), which will activate the general alarm system on the FPSO. Gas

detectors will be placed in areas where gas might be released or could accumulate.

Blanket Gas Generation – To prevent fires, the cargo tanks will be operated with an inert gas

blanket at all times except during tank entry. The inert gas for cargo tanks will be supplied

by an inert gas system utilizing flue gas from the marine boilers. To provide gas blanketing

for other spaces, including the methanol and xylene tanks, inert gas will be provided by

routing compressed air through the nitrogen membrane package.

Lifeboats and Life Rafts – The FPSO will be provided with lifeboats on either side of the

accommodation, having a capacity on each side for 100 percent of the personnel on board

(POB). A fast rescue boat will also be provided, complete with a davit launching and

retrieving system.



2.6 Installation, Hook-up, and Commissioning

The sequence and duration of each FPSO and SURF installation, hook-up, and commissioning

activity will be further defined as part of ongoing Project planning and development. The final

sequence and durations of activities will depend on a number of factors, including, but not

limited to, final Project design, marine vessel and equipment availability, mobilization times,

and weather, among other factors. Key installation, hook-up, and commissioning activities will

include:





FPSO Mooring Installation – Installation of the FPSO’s anchor piles and mooring lines.

Following installation, the mooring lines will be staged on the seafloor until arrival of the

FPSO.



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Flowline/Riser Installation – Installation of the production, water injection, and gas

injection flowlines and risers. These components will be cleaned and tested to verify and

ensure integrity after installation, and then staged on the seafloor until arrival of the FPSO.

FPSO Positioning and Mooring Connection – Positioning of the FPSO using support tugs

followed by retrieval of the FPSO mooring lines from the seafloor and hook-up of the FPSO

to its mooring system.

Manifold/Drill Center Installation – Installation of the manifolds, manifold foundation

piles, jumpers, Subsea Distribution Units, and flying leads at the drill centers followed by

integrity testing and verification.

Umbilical Installation – Installation of the umbilical and umbilical termination unit.

Riser Connection – Retrieval from the seafloor, pull-in, and connection of the risers to the

FPSO.

Testing and Commissioning – Testing and commissioning of the connected, integrated

FPSO and SURF production systems, including testing and de-watering / displacing

flowlines and umbilicals with commissioning fluids, which are further discussed in Section

2.10, and testing SURF control and shutdown systems. Some of these commissioning fluids

may be discharged to the sea per standard industry practice, as shown in Section 2.10.2,

Table 2-6. Any unused or used and recovered commissioning fluids and products will be reused, recycled, or disposed of in accordance with applicable regulations and best practices.



The above activities will be executed in an optimal sequence with activities completed in

parallel where possible.

During the FPSO/SURF installation stage, a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) may be

periodically utilized to support the above mentioned activities (e.g., underwater observations,

connections, and sampling, among others).



2.7 Production Operations

The Project will include a leased FPSO, owned and operated by the FPSO contractor, and a

subsea development, owned by EEPGL and operated by the FPSO contractor under the

direction of EEPGL. Throughout production operations, EEPGL’s personnel will perform

oversight and monitoring of the FPSO contractor to ensure that management systems pertinent

to safety, the environment, and operations integrity are properly implemented. To accomplish

this, EEPGL plans to utilize an onboard representative (OBR) supported by operational and

technical specialists to monitor, and direct as necessary, operation of the FPSO and SURF

facilities.

Operating processes will include flowing the hydrocarbon well stream from the reservoir to the

FPSO, where further fluid separation, stabilization, storage, and management will occur prior to

offloading the crude oil to the conventional tankers. General maintenance of the FPSO and

SURF components will also be performed offshore during production operations. Some

industry standard chemicals will be required as part of the processing and handling of the oil

and associated gas on the FPSO, as well as treating produced water prior to discharge. Both the

FPSO and SURF facilities will also require the use of industry standard additives to provide



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flow assurance and prevent corrosion, scale, hydrate, and asphaltene formation as previously

noted in Section 2.5.4.4 and described in Section 2.7.1. These subsea and topsides chemicals will

separate into the oil, water or gas phases of the process stream, depending on their solubilities

and applications. Therefore, residual quantities of these chemicals may be contained in the

processed crude oil, discharged with produced water, or emitted to the atmosphere with vented

and fugitive gases.

The final chemical requirements and quantities will be determined as part of the ongoing FPSO

and SURF facilities design work, and a preliminary list is provided in Table 2-2. Any unused or

used and re-captured production chemicals will be re-used, recycled, or disposed of in

accordance with applicable regulations and best practices.

The objective of the following sections is to provide a general overview of the flow assurance

challenges and strategies.



2.7.1 Common Flow Assurance Additives

2.7.1.1 Hydrates

Ambient seafloor temperatures in the Liza area are sufficiently cold that hydrates could form in

the FPSO and SURF equipment. To prevent the formation of hydrates, a combination of

inhibitor (methanol), thermal insulation, and operating practices will be utilized.



2.7.1.2 Paraffin and Asphaltenes

The insulation needed for hydrate mitigation is sufficient to prevent Paraffin (wax) deposition

in the subsea production system. Paraffin inhibitor can be injected along with downhole

asphaltene inhibitor downhole if needed. Asphaltene precipitation and/or deposition are

expected at near wellbore and in production wells. Asphaltene deposition will be mitigated

with continuous asphaltene inhibitor downhole. In case asphaltene deposition cannot be

mitigated by asphaltene inhibitors, production wells will be soaked with xylene as remediation.

Pigging operations with or without xylene may also be used for remediating any asphaltene

deposition in the production flowline and riser.



2.7.1.3 Scale Control

Scale formation will be managed using scale inhibitor downhole and by sulfate reduction with

Sulfate Removal Unit (SRU) at topsides.



2.7.1.4 Corrosion Control

Internal corrosion of the subsea facilities shall be managed by a combination of material

selection and injection of inhibitor. Components in the production path upstream of the

flowlines will be fabricated from corrosion-resistant alloys suitable for the intended service.

The carbon steel flowlines and risers will be protected by the injection of corrosion inhibitor at

the subsea production manifold headers.

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2.7.2 Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S) Management

The concentration of H2S will be extremely low for the initial stage (i.e., 5-10 years) of

FPSO/SURF production operations. There may be potential for the reservoir to sour over time,

which influences material selection and corrosion inhibition for certain FPSO, SURF, and

drilling systems. In the unlikely event that concentrations of H2S increase to a level that could

represent potential health or safety concerns for the Project’s offshore workforce, additional

management measures will be implemented as appropriate (e.g., training programs, personal

protective equipment, response planning, and equipment for leak detection and alarms).



2.7.3 Marine Safety

The Maritime Administration (MARAD) of the Ministry of Public Infrastructure is responsible

for issuing notices to mariners concerning safety at sea.

MARAD will be advised of the location of drill ships during the drilling of the development

wells and the performance of well workovers in the PDA, and of the location of installation

vessels during major installation activities so that mariners are aware of these activities. Safety

exclusion zones with a 500 m (~ 1640 ft) radius will be established around drill ships during

drilling operations and around drill centers during well workovers, as well as around major

installation vessels in accordance with industry standards and practices, as represented on

Figure 2-17.

Authorizations for in-water activities will be obtained from MARAD and notices to mariners

will be issued for all marine vessels including the FPSO, supply and support vessels, tugs, and

those vessels employed during the FPSO/SURF installation, hook-up, and commissioning

stage. The Project will also communicate major vessel movements to commercial cargo,

commercial fishing, and subsistence fishing vessel operators who might not ordinarily receive

Notices to Mariners, and where possible communicate Project activities to those individuals to

aid them in avoiding Project vessels through the stakeholder engagement process.

As also shown on Figure 2-17, during the production operations stage, the FPSO will have a 2

nautical mile (nm) radius encircling the vessel where marine support and tanker off-loading

will occur. No unauthorized vessels will be allowed to enter this approximately 4,000 ha

operational marine safety exclusion zone. EEPGL will use radar and visual surveillance of the

marine safety exclusion zones to monitor vessel traffic. Any vessels that may inadvertently

enter the marine safety exclusion zone without authorization will be contacted via radio and

instructed to leave the area. If EEPGL is unable to contact the vessel by radio, a Project supply

vessel will approach the encroaching vessel and notify them that they have entered a marine

safety exclusion zone. If the encroaching vessel ignores these instructions, EEPGL will contact

the Guyana Coast Guard for support.



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Figure 2-17



Chapter 2

Project Description



Preliminary Safety Exclusion Zones during Drilling, Installation, and

Offloading Operations



2.7.4 Offloading Tankers

Conventional tankers supporting offloading operations typically arrive anywhere from one day

to several hours ahead of the scheduled loading time, as a function of weather and ocean

conditions. When the conventional tanker is ready to approach, a Mooring Master will board

the vessel approximately 2 km (~1 mi) from the FPSO, in order to guide it to the FPSO for

offloading. The conventional tankers will export the crude oil to the buyer’s final location after

offloading operations have been completed.



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2.8 Onshore, Marine, and Aviation Support

2.8.1 Onshore Supply and Support Activities

Shorebase(s), laydown areas, pipe yards, warehouses, fuel supply, heliport, and waste

management facilities in Guyana will be utilized to support development drilling, FPSO/SURF

installation, production operations, and ultimately decommissioning. These onshore facilities

will be owned/operated by others and will not be dedicated to the Project. The specific

shorebase(s) and onshore support facilities (e.g., warehouses, laydown yards) to be utilized in

Guyana have not yet been identified by EEPGL. A preliminary footprint estimate for onshore

staging and storage in Guyana is approximately 30,000-50,000 m2. However, the final area

required will be determined as the Project development plan progresses. Accordingly, ERM has

performed the impact assessment on the basis that the Project will utilize existing shorebase(s)

located in Georgetown that meet this minimum requirement. Should any new or expanded

shorebase(s) or onshore support facilities be utilized, the construction/expansion and any

required dredging, as well as the associated permitting, of such facilities would be the

responsibility of the owner/operator and such work scope would not be included in the scope

of the EIA.

A typical shorebase quay is shown in Figure 2-18, and a typical laydown yard is shown in

Figure 2-19. Where existing Guyana shorebase(s) do not have the technical and/or capacity

requirements to support Project activities, EEPGL will potentially consider the use of other

onshore support facilities and services in Guyana, as identified and deemed necessary.

Additional logistical support may be provided by other regional suppliers outside of Guyana,

as informed by inputs from EEPGL contractors after contract award, to address Project needs

(e.g., deepwater port access in Trinidad).

Onshore support facilities will include pier/port/quayside space with sufficient draft for

receipt of cargo vessels bringing materials to and from the shorebase(s). Marine support vessels

will service the offshore activities and operations. A marine berth and secure warehousing

space for indoor and outdoor storage of materials and goods, trucking, stevedoring, freight

forwarding, customs logistics, receiving, inspection, and associated container handling and

storage operations will also be utilized.

Daily activities and operations to be performed at the shorebase(s) will generally include:















Storage of pipe, equipment and spares;

Loading and unloading cargo from trucks and marine vessels;

Use of cranes and other lifting equipment;

Bulk storage of chemicals, fuels, and industrial consumables;

Potential operation of a cement and drilling and completion fluids plant to support offshore

drilling operations; and

Secure handling and storage of wastes pending final recycling, treatment, or disposal.



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Most of the major SURF equipment will be shipped preassembled and pre-tested directly to the

offshore Project site from their points of origin. Other minor equipment, supplies, and materials

may be temporarily staged at the shorebase(s) and associated laydown yards and warehouses

until transferred offshore for installation or use. The owners/operators of these contracted

facilities will be required to seek environmental authorization for any changes to current

operations (e.g., bulk storage of chemicals and fuels or facility expansions).

Figure 2-18



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Typical Shorebase Quay



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EEPGL Environmental Impact Assessment

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Figure 2-19



Chapter 2

Project Description



Typical Laydown Yard



Support and supply vessels will require sufficient water depths to transit between the Liza field

and the shorebase(s). There is potential for some initial and periodic maintenance dredging to

be performed by the shorebase owner/operator(s), with any required permitting being the

responsibility of the shorebase owners/operators.



2.8.2 Logistical Support

An average of 10 round-trip helicopter flights is currently being made per week to support

ongoing exploration drilling activities. It is estimated that during development drilling and

FPSO/SURF installation, an incremental 20 to 25 helicopter flights per week will be added, for a

total of 30 to 35 round-trip flights per week. During FPSO/SURF production operations, an

estimated 20 to 25 round-trip helicopter flights per week will be necessary to support

FPSO/SURF production operations and development drilling activities.

There will be a variety of marine and aviation support equipment supporting the FPSO,

installation vessels, and drill ships, as shown on Figure 2-20. The support vessels will consist of

Platform Supply Vessels (PSVs) conducting re-supply trips to the FPSO and drill ships, Tug

Vessels (TVs) supporting tanker offloading activities, and Multi-Purpose Vessels (MPVs)

supporting subsea installation and maintenance activities. Based on current drilling activities

and past experience with similar developments, it is estimated that during development drilling

and FPSO/SURF installation, an average of 12 vessel trips per week may be made to the PDA.

During FPSO/SURF production operations, it is estimated that this number will be reduced to

approximately 7 vessel trips per week. The vessels are planned to be loaded and offloaded at

shorebase facilities in Guyana and/or Trinidad. Figure 2-21 depicts a conceptual diagram and

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Project Description



estimated number and types of logistical support equipment that will be utilized to support the

Project.

Figure 2-20



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Typical Logistics Support Vessels



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EEPGL Environmental Impact Assessment

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Figure 2-21



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Chapter 2

Project Description



Potential Drilling and Operations Stage Peak Fleet Profile



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2.9 End of Operations (Decommissioning)

In advance of the completion of the Phase 1 production operations stage, EEPGL will prepare a

decommissioning plan for the facility in compliance with the laws and regulations in effect at

that time, while also considering the most appropriate technology available at that time. The

decommissioning plan and strategy will be based on a notice of the intent for decommissioning

the production facilities and plugging and abandonment of the development wells, which will

be provided to the GGMC and EPA to obtain approval in accordance with the requirements of

the Guyana Petroleum (Exploration and Production) Act (1998) and EP Act (Cap. 20:05).

EEPGL will perform inspections, surveys, and testing to assess, and report to the EPA the

conditions that will provide the basis and required information to prepare a plan for

decommissioning. All risers, pipelines, umbilicals, subsea equipment, and topside equipment

will be safely and properly isolated, de-energized, and cleaned to remove hydrocarbons and

other hazardous materials to a suitable level prior to being taken out of service.

Near the time of decommissioning, EEPGL will work with the EPA and the GGMC to select the

final decommissioning strategy based on a comparative assessment, which is designed to

evaluate the potential safety, environmental, technical, and economic impacts and associated

mitigation measures in order to finalize the decommissioning plan.

Wells will be permanently plugged and abandoned (P&A) by restoring suitable cap rock to

prevent escape of hydrocarbons to the environment. P&A barriers will be installed in the

wellbore, of adequate length to contain reservoir fluids and deep enough to resist being

bypassed by fracturing. The number of barriers required will depend on the distribution of

hydrocarbon-bearing permeable zones within the wellbore.

It is expected that the risers, pipelines, umbilicals, subsea equipment, FPSO mooring lines and

anchor piles will be disconnected and abandoned in place on the seafloor, unless an alternative

strategy is selected based on the results of the comparative assessments.

The FPSO will be disconnected from its mooring system, removed from the production location,

and towed to a new location for re-use or decommissioning.

Selected waste streams associated with decommissioning activities, including hazardous and

non-hazardous wastes, will be managed and disposed of in accordance with standard industry

practice and applicable regulations. Methods may include injection downhole into the reservoir,

separation and incineration offshore, or transport to onshore waste management facilities for

management and disposal.



2.10 Materials, Emissions, Discharges, and Wastes

This section describes the materials (i.e., primarily chemicals) used across the various stages of

the Project, as well as the Project’s planned emissions, discharges, and wastes.

The Project may potentially produce small amounts of Naturally Occurring Radioactive

Material (NORM) from the reservoir over the life of the production operations stage. The Project

may also utilize radiography periodically to support installation and maintenance activities

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(e.g., non-destructive examination of materials for quality control purposes). The Project will

follow standard industry practices to manage any workforce exposure to NORM or

radiography. Any equipment containing such sources will be registered, strictly tracked,

controlled, and returned to the vendor at the end of their use or if they must be replaced at any

time.

The Project will not generate any meaningful vibration which could impact

resources/receptors. EEPGL will manage airborne sound through engineering controls,

through administrative controls, and by providing appropriate Personal Protection Equipment

(PPE) to its Project workforce as described in Section 7.1.2. Underwater sound is discussed as

part of the Marine Mammal impact evaluation (see Section 7.2.5). The Project generates heat,

primarily in the form of a cooling water discharge to the sea, which is discussed as part of the

Marine Water Quality impact evaluation (see Section 7.1.4). The Project generates light, which is

discussed as part of the Seabird and Marine Turtle impact evaluations (see Sections 7.2.4 and

7.2.6, respectively).



2.10.1 Materials Inventory

Offshore oil development is primarily an extractive process (e.g., producing oil from the Liza

field). This extractive process will, however, require the use of various equipment described in

this chapter (e.g., drill ships, pipes, flowlines, FPSO), as well as some chemicals used to facilitate

well drilling, oil recovery, water/waste treatment, pipeline maintenance, and other purposes,

which have been described in prior sections of this chapter. The required volumes of these

chemicals are yet to be determined.

Table 2-2 below provides preliminary inventories of the primary chemicals that would be used

as part of the Project’s drilling, installation/commissioning and production operation stages,

respectively. Residual quantities of drilling and production chemicals may be discharged to the

sea as components of drilling fluid or produced water, injected into the reservoir, or emitted to

the atmosphere, as described in prior sections of this chapter. Unused or used and recovered

chemicals will be re-used, recycled, or disposed of in accordance with applicable regulations

and best practices.

All chemicals will be stored, either at the shorebase(s) or on the drill ship or FPSO, in

appropriate storage containers with either secondary containment or appropriate drainage

control.



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EEPGL Environmental Impact Assessment

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Table 2-2



Chapter 2

Project Description



Project Materials and Chemicals



Project Phase



Primary Chemical Materials / Products

Water-based drilling fluid (WBDF)











Drilling

















Water, seawater, or inorganic

salts

Barite

Clays

Water-soluble biopolymers and

modified biopolymers

Thinners

Shale Inhibitors

Calcium Carbonate

Lost circulation material

Caustic Soda

Soda Ash



Completion & Treatment Fluids



SURF Equipment

Commissioning



Production Operations



February 2017



Non-aqueous drilling fluid (NADF)























Base Oil (IOGP Group III)

Barite

Calcium chloride brine

Organophilic clay

Emulsifier

Wetting Agent

Viscosity modifiers

Fluid loss modifiers

Lime

Calcium Carbonate



Cement

























Brines

Barite

Water Soluble Polymers

Inorganic and Organic Acids

Calcium Carbonate

Caustic Soda

Surfactants

Hydrate Inhibitor

Oxygen Scavenger

Corrosion Inhibitor



















Cement class “G”

Extender

Accelerator

Defoamer

Retarder

Surfactant

Dye







Low-toxicity, water soluble

hydraulic fluid

Nitrogen

Hydrate inhibitor (e.g.,

methanol, ethylene glycol)













Marine gas oil

Biocide

Oxygen scavenger

Corrosion inhibitor



Corrosion inhibitor

Scale inhibitor

Asphaltene inhibitor

Xylene

Methanol

Deumulsifier

Defoamer



















Polyelectrolyte

Triethylene glycol

Hydrogen sulfide scavenger

Oxygen scavenger

Biocide

Clarifier/coagulant

Hydraulic fluid























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2.10.2 Emissions

The Project will include several sources of atmospheric emissions. The principal sources of

atmospheric emissions from the Project operations can be divided into four main categories:















Combustion Emissions: generated from combustion of liquid fuel or natural gas during

aviation and marine support and installation activities, operation of the FPSO and drill

ships, waste incineration, and non-routine flaring of gas that is not re-injected into the

reservoir;

Venting Emissions: consisting of emissions related to tank storage operations (flashing

emissions, standing/working/breathing losses – dominated by FPSO product storage tanks,

but also including other tank storage);

Vessel loading emissions: dominated by emissions released during the transfer of crude oil

from FPSO to tankers, but also including fuel transfer operations; and

Fugitive Emissions: leakage through process equipment components (e.g., valves, flanges),

and potential unplanned CFC releases from the HVAC and refrigeration systems.



Table 2-3 provides estimated maximum annual Project atmospheric emissions in three distinct

periods, selected to account for differing activity levels over the Project life. Primary activities in

each of these periods to which the corresponding emissions can be attributed are as follows:









2018 – 2019: Drilling, SURF installation and commissioning, and operation of related

support vessels

2020 – 2021: Drilling, FPSO startup and associated temporary, non-routine flaring,

beginning of production operations, tanker loading

2022 – 2040: Production operations following cessation of drilling, including temporary nonroutine flaring, operation of related support vessels, and tanker loading.



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Table 2-3



Chapter 2

Project Description



Annual Air Emissions Summary



Pollutant



Source Category



Annual Emissions

(Tonnes unless otherwise specified)

2018-2019

2020-2021

2022-2040



Nitrogen Oxides (NOx)

FPSO

FPSO Flaring

(temporary, non-routine)

Tanker Loading

Area Sources12

Drill ship

Total



0



1,635



1,545



0



375



175



0

2,385

1,255

3,640



135

1,125

1,670

4,945



140

1,125

0

2,975



0



45



50



0



0



5



0

85

45

130



110

40

60

250



115

40

0

205



0



45



35



0



15



5



0

170

90

260



10

80

120

210



10

80

0

130



0



425



405



0



2,030



940



0

500

265

765



30

235

350

3,070



30

235

0

1,610



n/a



<1



<1



95



10,250



10,720



195



1,510



980



Sulfur Dioxide (SO2)

FPSO

FPSO Flaring

(temporary, non-routine)

Tanker Loading

Area Sources

Drill Ship

Total

Particulate Matter (PM)

FPSO

FPSO Flaring

(temporary, non-routine)

Tanker Loading

Area Sources

Drill Ship

Total

Carbon Monoxide (CO)

FPSO

FPSO Flaring

(temporary, non-routine)

Tanker Loading

Area Sources

Drill ship

Total

Other Pollutants

Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S)

Volatile Organic Compounds

(VOCs)

Greenhouse Gases (GHGs

[kilotonnes CO2-equivalents])



FPSO Flaring

(temporary, non-routine)

All Sources

All Sources



Note: The annual estimated totals currently reflect the preliminary Project schedule, which could change.



Area Sources are mobile equipment such as aviation and marine support vessels (besides the FPSO and drill ships)

used during drilling, installation, production operations, and decommissioning.

12



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Chapter 2

Project Description



2.10.3 Discharges

The Project will have several planned discharges to water related to the operations and

maintenance of the drill ships, FPSO, installation and commissioning activities. These planned

discharges, based on the preliminary design information, are listed in Table 2-4. Potential

discharges include drill cuttings and fluids, well completion and treatment fluids, produced

water, cooling water, sulfate removal and potable water processing brines, topsides drainage,

hydrostatic test water, ballast water, BOP testing fluids, and sanitary and domestic wastewater,

as described below. All Project vessels will be equipped to comply with the water pollution

control standards required by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) International

Convention for the Prevention of Pollution by Ships, 1973, as modified by the Protocol of 1978

(MARPOL 73/78).

Drill Cuttings and Fluids: WBDF, as listed in Table 2-2, and associated cuttings will be discharged

to the sea without treatment per standard industry practice. The process for treating and

discharging cuttings with residual NABF, as listed in Table 2-2, is described in Section 2.3.3.

Cement: Cement slurry returns are only expected during the cementing of the first casing

string for each development well. The excess spacer and lead slurry will be discharged

directly to the seafloor immediately around the well. Excess/unused cement will be

discharged to the sea.

Well Completion and Treatment Fluids: Well completion and treatment fluids will be treated and

discharged to the sea or shipped to shore for appropriate treatment/disposal per standard

industry practice.

Produced Water: The produced water treating system will collect produced water from process

facilities and treat the water prior to discharge overboard, as described in Section 2.5.3.3.

Cooling Water: Seawater is used to dissipate heat generated by the oil and water treating

systems, the compression systems, and miscellaneous utility systems. Process hydrocarbon

fluids do not come into contact with this seawater. Cooling water will be disposed of overboard

at a suitable temperature so as not to significantly impact marine life.

Sulfate Removal & Potable Water Processing Brines: These brine disposal streams are byproducts of

the membrane processes used offshore to generate sulfate-free water for injection and to

generate fresh water for crude desalting and for living quarters requirements. No treatment of

these streams (essentially seawater) is required prior to discharge.

Topsides Drainage: The topsides will have a non-hydrocarbon and hydrocarbon drain system.

The hydrocarbon drain system will direct drainage to a slop tank, where oil and water will be

gravity separated. Once separated, the oil will be skimmed off the top and sent to the cargo

tanks, and the water will be discharged overboard in accordance with treatment specifications.

The non-hydrocarbon drain system (e.g., rainwater) will route the drain fluids to the slop tank

in the FPSO hull or directly overboard.

Hydrostatic Test Water: Seawater treated with chemicals (e.g., biocides) will be injected in the

flowlines and risers to ensure the lines are sealed properly during installation, prior to the flow

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EEPGL Environmental Impact Assessment

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Chapter 2

Project Description



of hydrocarbons. The treated seawater used for hydrostatic testing of the water and gas

injection lines will be discharged near the seafloor per standard industry practice. The treated

seawater used for hydrostatic testing of the production lines will be round-trip pigged to the

FPSO and will be treated and discharged overboard with produced water.

Commissioning Fluids: A hydrate inhibiting substance (e.g., methanol or ethylene glycol) will be

used to prevent formation of hydrates during commissioning of the production and gas

injection lines. The fluid used for the gas injection line will be discharged at the seafloor, and the

fluid used for the production lines will be returned to the FPSO, treated, and discharged from

the overboard water line.

Ballast Water: Discharges of ballast water will be required for initial FPSO installation and

recurring tanker offloading.

BOP Testing Fluids: During periodic testing (approximately every two weeks) of the BOP

system, approximately 30 barrels of low-toxicity power fluid (i.e., fluid used to hydraulically

move the preventers) will be discharged near the seafloor. The typical composition of this fluid

is ~97 percent water with ~3 percent biocide/lubrication/corrosion protection chemicals.

Gray Water/Black Water/Food Preparation Wastes: The Project will provide wastewater treatment

for sanitary wastes (black water/sewage) and food preparation wastes in accordance with

MARPOL requirements. Gray water will be discharged overboard.

Table 2-4 summarizes drilling-related discharges and Table 2-5 summarizes commissioning and

production-related discharges.

Table 2-4



Summary of Drilling and Completion-Related Discharges



Fluid Type



Estimated Discharge Per Well (bbl) a



Drill Cuttings Discharges



6,000



Water-Based Drilling Fluid (WBDF) Discharges



13,000



Non-Aqueous Base Fluid (NABF) retained on cuttings



400



Cement Returns



3,800



Completion and Treatment Fluids



6,000



a Values



based on deepest well



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EEPGL Environmental Impact Assessment

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Table 2-5



Chapter 2

Project Description



Summary of Commissioning and Production-Related Discharges



Type of Discharge and Effluent

Characteristics



Expected Discharge

Volume/Rate



Discharge Criteria



Treatment

Required to

Meet Criteria?



SURF & FPSO Installation / Commissioning Discharges

≤ 500,000 bbl total

Ballast Water (FPSO initial deballasting)



1) Perform discharge No

in accordance with

IMO requirements

2) No visible oil

sheen on receiving

water



25,000 bbl (total volume No visible oil sheen

for all flowlines and

on receiving water

risers, occurring

throughout SURF

commissioning phase)



No



400 bbl total



None



N/A



≤ 100,000 bpd



Oil in water content: Yes

29 mg/L (monthly

average); 42 mg/L

(daily maximum)

Temperature rise

<3°C at 100 m from

discharge



≤ 700,000 bpd



No visible oil sheen

on receiving water

Temperature rise

<3°C at 100 m from

discharge



No



Sulfate Removal & Potable Water

Processing Brines

 Hypochlorite: ≤ 1 ppm

 Electrolyte: ≤ 1 ppm

 Biocide: ≤ 5 ppm

 Oxygen Scavenger: ≤ 10 ppm

 Scale Inhibitor: ≤ 5 ppm



≤ 100,000 bpd



None



N/A



Subsea Hydraulic Fluid Discharge

 Water soluble, low-toxicity



≤ 5 bpd



None



N/A



Hydrostatic Test Water

 Biocide: ≤ 500 ppm

 Oxygen scavenger ≤ 100 ppm

 Corrosion inhibitor ≤ 100 ppm

Gas Injection Line Commissioning Fluids

 Hydrate inhibitor (e.g.,

methanol or ethylene glycol)

Production Discharges



Produced Water

 Oil & Grease

 Residual production and water

treatment chemicals



Cooling Water

 Hypochlorite: ≤ 5 ppm



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EEPGL Environmental Impact Assessment

Liza Phase 1 Development Project



Type of Discharge and Effluent

Characteristics

FPSO Bilge Water

Inert Gas Generator Cooling Water



Chapter 2

Project Description



Expected Discharge

Volume/Rate



Discharge Criteria



1,800 bpd



Oil in water content: Yes

<15 mg/L



Negligible



None



Negligible



Oil in water content: Yes

29 mg/L (monthly

average); 42 mg/L

(daily maximum)



FPSO Slop Tank Water

Miscellaneous Discharges including Boiler <10 bpd

Blowdown, Desalinization Blowdown, Lab

Sink Drainage



Tanker Ballast Water



None



1,100,000 bbl total (at

each tanker crude

loading)



Treatment

Required to

Meet Criteria?



N/A



N/A



1) Perform in

No

accordance with IMO

requirements

2) No visible oil

sheen on receiving

water



BOP System Testing Water-Soluble LowToxicity Hydraulic Fluid



30 bbl every two weeks None



N/A



Rain Water/Deck Drainage/Wash Down

Water



Rainfall dependent



No visible oil sheen

on receiving water



N/A



Gray Water



5,000 bpd



None



N/A



4,000 bpd



Total residual

Yes

chlorine as low as

practical but not less

than 1 ppm



<30 bpd



Macerated to <25

mm diameter



Black Water (sewage)



Food Preparation Wastes



Yes



Notes:

bbl = barrels

bpd = barrels per day



2.10.4 Waste Management

The Project will generate a variety of solid wastes including both hazardous and non-hazardous

wastes, which vary over time by Project stage. As Table 2-6 indicates, waste will begin to be

generated when drilling commences, as early as 2018 per the current project schedule. Waste

volumes generated will increase as drilling activity increases in 2019 and 2020. Additional waste

will be generated from SURF installation and FPSO commissioning and hookup activities in the

2019-2020 timeframe. Waste volumes will then begin to decrease as drilling activity declines in

2021 and significantly decrease during the production operations stage once drilling activity is



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EEPGL Environmental Impact Assessment

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Chapter 2

Project Description



complete (2022 to 2039). When production operations cease, some waste will be generated from

decommissioning activities.



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EEPGL Environmental Impact Assessment

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Table 2-6



Chapter 2

Project Description



Summary of Estimated Annual Project Waste Generation and Management

Methods

Representative

Waste Streams



Totals by Classification

Non-hazardous

Plastic, glass,

wastes(2)

paper, scrap

metal

Hazardous

Used oil, paint

wastes

waste, oilcontaminated

cement

Totals by Management Method

Offshore

Wood, paper,

Incineration

cardboard

Onshore

Used NADF, oil

Treatment /

sludge, unused

Incineration

chemicals

Onshore Landfill General trash,

(all nonincinerator ash,

hazardous)(2)

Recycle into

Used oil, oily

Process

water

Recycle (all non- Plastic, glass,

hazardous)

scrap metal



Estimated Annual Waste Generation (metric

tonnes)(1)

2018



2019



2020



2021



2022-2039



2040



1850



4220



5870



2480



400



330



1770



4050



5470



2170



190



210



250



600



830



360



80



110



1670



3820



5140



2014



140



140



1610



3630



5030



2080



280



230



0



0



20



30



30



20



90



220



320



170



70



60



(1) The annual totals reflect the current preliminary Project schedule (see Section 2.14), which could change.

(2) Non-hazardous volumes include estimated quantities of residue from treatment of hazardous waste



Solid waste generated offshore will be reduced, recycled, treated, and disposed offshore (i.e.,

incinerated and accounted for in Table 2-4 under FPSO source) where practicable, with the

remainder directed for onshore treatment, recycling, reuse, or disposal. For the exploration

drilling program, EEPGL is currently utilizing a regional supplier who is operating an existing

onshore waste treatment/incineration facility at a local shorebase in Georgetown, Guyana (see

Figures 2-22 and 2-23). The Project is planning to utilize similar facilities in Guyana or the

region during the development drilling, FPSO/SURF production operations, and

decommissioning stages. To the extent that solid wastes are being disposed of by a Guyanese

licensed onshore disposal facility (i.e., landfill, incinerator) in accordance with their permit, then

impacts from the proper disposal of these wastes are not further discussed in this EIA. All

Project waste streams will be managed in accordance with the Waste Management Plan that

will be part of the Project Environmental and Socioeconomic Management Plan (ESMP).



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EEPGL Environmental Impact Assessment

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Chapter 2

Project Description



Figure 2-22



Typical Waste Management Facilities at a Local Shorebase



Figure 2-23



Vertical Infrared Unit with Wet Scrubber and Oxidizer at Typical Waste

Management Facilities



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EEPGL Environmental Impact Assessment

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Chapter 2

Project Description



2.11 Embedded Controls

EEPGL has incorporated the embedded controls13 provided in Table 2-7 into the Project:

Table 2-7



List of Embedded Controls



Embedded Control Measures



Resources/Receptors

Benefitted



Drilling and SURF/FPSO Installation and Commissioning

 Utilize WBDF to the extent reasonably practicable and in other cases use

low-toxicity IOGP Group III NABF.

 When NADF is used, utilize a solids control and cuttings dryer system to

treat drill cuttings prior to discharge such that end of well maximum

weighted mass ratio averaged over all well sections drilled using nonaqueous fluids shall not exceed 6.9 percent wet weight base fluid

retained on cuttings.

 For VSP activities, commence such operations during daylight hours

after a suitable pre-watch by Marine Mammal Observers (MMOs) is

performed and begin with soft start procedures, which incrementally

increase source sound levels in order to allow marine mammals and

turtles time to move away from the activity before full sound source

energy is utilized, in accordance with JNCC guidelines.

 With respect to prevention of spills of hydrocarbons and chemicals

during the drilling stage:

o



Change liquid hydrocarbon transfer hoses periodically



o



Utilize dry-break connections on liquid hydrocarbon bulk transfer

hoses



o



Utilize a liquid hydrocarbon checklist before every bulk transfer



o



Perform required inspections and testing of all equipment prior to

deployment/installation;



o



Utilize certified Blowout Prevention (BOP) equipment;



o



Regularly test certified BOP equipment and other spill prevention



Marine sediments, water

quality, mammals,

turtles, fish, and benthos

Marine sediments, water

quality, mammals,

turtles, fish, and benthos



Marine mammals,

marine turtles



Air quality, marine

sediments, marine water

quality, protected areas,

sensitive species, coastal

habitats, coastal wildlife

and shorebirds, marine

mammals, turtles, fish,

benthos, ecology and

ecosystems



equipment;

o



Utilize overbalanced drilling fluids to control wells while drilling;



o



Perform operational training certification (including well control

training) for drill ship supervisors and engineers;



o



Regularly audit field operations on the drill ships, FPSO, and

shorebase(s) to ensure application of designed safeguards; and



o



Controls for mitigating a failure of the dynamic positioning system

on the drill ships and maintain station keeping, which include:



Embedded controls are engineering specifications, components, and/or operational procedures that are planned as

part of the Project.

13



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EEPGL Environmental Impact Assessment

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Chapter 2

Project Description



Embedded Control Measures





Resources/Receptors

Benefitted



Use of a Class 3 Dynamic Positioning (DP) system, which

includes numerous redundancies;







Rigorous personnel qualifications and training;







Seatrials and acceptance criteria;







Continuous DP proving trials;







System Failure Mode and Effects Analysis;







Continuous DP failure consequence analysis; and







Establishment of well-specific operations guidelines.



 During pile driving activities, gradually increase the intensity of hammer

energy to allow sensitive species to vacate the area before injury occurs

(i.e., soft starts).

 Maintain marine safety exclusion zones with a 500 m (~1,640 ft) radius

around drill ships and major installation vessels to prevent unauthorized

vessels from entering potentially hazardous areas.

Production Operations

 Re-inject produced gas which is not utilized as fuel gas on the FPSO to

avoid routine flaring. With respect to non-routine flaring, the following

measures will be implemented:

o



Marine mammals



Marine use and

transportation safety

Air quality



Monitor flare performance to maximize efficiency of flaring

operation;



o



Ensure flare equipment is appropriately inspected and function

tested prior to production operations; and



o



Ensure flare equipment is appropriately maintained and monitored

during production operations.



 Treat produced water on the FPSO to limit oil and grease (O&G) content

to 29 mg/L monthly average and 42 mg/L daily maximum.



 Design produced water and cooling water processes to avoid increases

in ambient water temperature of more than 3˚C at 100m (~328 ft) from

the FPSO when discharging.

 Perform onboard waste incineration for certain categories of waste.

 Utilize a Mooring Master from the FPSO located onboard the offloading

tanker to support safe tanker approach/departure and offloading

operations.

 Utilize support tugs to aid tankers in maintaining station during

approach/departure from FPSO and during offloading operations.

 Utilize a hawser with a quick release mechanism to moor the FPSO to

the tanker at a safe separation distance during offloading operations.

 FPSO offloading to tankers will occur within an environmental

operating limit that is established to ensure safe operations. In the event

that adverse weather occurs during offloading operations that is beyond

May 2017



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Marine water quality,

mammals, turtles, fish,

and benthos, seabirds,

ecology and ecosystems

Marine water quality,

mammals, turtles, fish,

and benthos, seabirds,

ecology and ecosystems

Land use

Marine use and

transportation safety

Marine use and

transportation safety

Marine use and

transportation safety

Marine sediments, water

quality, mammals,

turtles, fish, benthos, and



EEPGL Environmental Impact Assessment

Liza Phase 1 Development Project



Chapter 2

Project Description



Embedded Control Measures



Resources/Receptors

Benefitted



the environmental operating limit the tanker will cease the offloading

operations, and may disconnect and safely maneuver away from the

FPSO as appropriate.

 Utilize a marine bonded, double-carcass floating hose system certified by

Class or other certifying agency that complies with the recommendations

of OCIMF Guide to Manufacturing and Purchasing Hoses for Offshore

Moorings (GMPHOM) 2009 Edition or later.

 Utilize breakaway couplers on offloading hose that would stop the flow

of oil from FPSO during an emergency disconnect scenario.



seabirds



 Utilize a load monitoring system in the FPSO control room to support

FPSO offloading.



 Utilize leak detection controls during FPSO offloading which include:

o



Leak detection for breach of the floating hose that complies with

the recommendations of OCIMF GMPHOM 2009 Edition or later;



o



Marine sediments, water

quality, mammals,

turtles, fish, benthos, and

seabirds

Marine sediments, water

quality, mammals,

turtles, fish, benthos, and

seabirds

Marine sediments, water

quality, mammals,

turtles, fish, benthos, and

seabirds

Marine sediments, water

quality, mammals,

turtles, fish, benthos, and

seabirds



Utilization of instrumentation/procedures to perform volumetric

checks during offloading.



 Provide trained medical personnel on board the FPSO and major

installation vessels to minimize reliance on medical infrastructure and

facilities in Guyana.

 Utilize marine safety exclusion zone of 2 nautical miles around the FPSO

to prevent unauthorized vessels from entering potentially hazardous

areas.

 Project vessels will conduct ballasting operations in accordance with

IMO regulations.

General Measures

 Maintain equipment, marine vessels, and helicopters in good working

order and operate in accordance with manufacturer’s specifications in

order to reduce atmospheric emissions and sound levels to the extent

reasonably practicable.

 Regularly inspect and service shorebase cranes and construction

equipment in order to mitigate the potential for spills and to maintain air

emissions at optimal levels.

 Shut down (or throttle down) sources of combustion equipment in

intermittent use where reasonably practicable in order to reduce air

emissions.

 Utilize secondary containment for bulk fuel storage, drilling fluids, and

hazardous materials, where practical.

 Regularly check pipes, storage tanks, and other equipment associated

with storage or transfer of hydrocarbons/chemicals for leaks.

 Perform regular audits of field operations on the drill ship, FPSO, and

shorebase to ensure application of designed safeguards.



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Community health and

wellbeing

Marine use and

transportation safety

Ecological Balance and

Ecosystems

Air quality, water

quality, marine

mammals, marine turtles

Air quality



Air quality



Water quality

Water quality

Air quality, water

quality



EEPGL Environmental Impact Assessment

Liza Phase 1 Development Project



Chapter 2

Project Description



Embedded Control Measures



Resources/Receptors

Benefitted



 Treat sewage to applicable standards under MARPOL 73/78.



Marine sediments, water

quality, mammals,

turtles, fish, benthos, and

seabirds

Land use



 For those wastes that cannot be reused, treated, or discharged/disposed

on the drill ship or FPSO they will be manifested and safely transferred

to appropriate onshore facilities for management. Waste management

contractors will be vetted prior to utilization. If deficiencies in

contractors’ operations are noted, an action plan to address the identified

deficiencies will be established.

 Utilize oil/water separators to limit oil in water content in bilge water to

<15 parts per million (ppm; per MARPOL).



 Provide standing instruction to Project dedicated vessel masters to avoid

marine mammals and turtles while underway and reduce speed or

deviate from course, as needed, to reduce probability of collisions.

 Provide standing instruction to Project dedicated vessel masters to avoid

any identified rafting seabirds when transiting to and from PDA.

 Observe standard international and local navigation procedures in and

around the Georgetown Harbour and Demerara River, as well as best

ship-keeping and navigation practices while at sea.

 Project workers will be subject to health screening procedures to

minimize risks of communicable diseases.

 Utilize an established SSHE program to which all Project workers and

contractors will be required to mitigate against risk of injury/illness to

workers.

 All workers and contractors will receive training on implementation and

will be required to adhere to its principles.

 Maintain an OSRP to ensure an effective response to an oil spill,

including maintaining the equipment and other resources specified in

the OSRP and conducting periodic training and drills.

 Where practicable, direct lighting on FPSO and major vessels to required

operational areas rather than at the sea surface or skyward.

 Provide screening on FPSO and drill ships for seawater intakes to

minimize the entrainment of aquatic life, where practical.



Marine sediments, water

quality, mammals,

turtles, fish, benthos, and

seabirds

Marine mammals,

marine turtles

Seabirds

Marine use and

transportation safety

Community health and

wellbeing

Occupational and

community health,

safety, and wellbeing



All resources and

receptors

Seabirds and marine

turtles

Marine fish



2.12 Project Workforce

Preliminary workforce estimates are provided in Table 2-8. These estimates have been slightly

revised since submittal of the Application for Environmental Authorisation.



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EEPGL Environmental Impact Assessment

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Table 2-8



Chapter 2

Project Description



Workforce Estimates



Project Stage

Development Drilling



Estimated Workforce

Approximately 600 persons offshore at peak,

when utilizing up to two drill ships concurrently



(Dependent upon final drill ships and support

vessels selected)

Installation, including FPSO and SURF Mobilization, Approximately 600 persons offshore at peak

and Hook-up/Commissioning

(Dependent upon final installation and support

vessels selected)

Production Operations, including FPSO and

Approximately 100 to 140 persons offshore at

conventional tanker

peak (an additional 25 to 30 persons would be

onboard the tanker)

(Dependent upon conventional tanker schedule)

Approximately 60 persons offshore at peak



Decommissioning



In addition to the offshore components, there will also be personnel providing shorebase and

marine logistical support onshore (approximately 100-150 persons), some of whom will be

Project-dedicated while others will be shared resources. The onshore logistical support staff will

ramp up gradually through the installation stage until reaching a peak during the development

drilling campaign and FPSO/SURF installation activities, and then will diminish during

FPSO/SURF production operations. The logistical support onshore staff level is expected to

increase again briefly during decommissioning.



2.13 Worker Health and Safety

EEPGL and its parent company, ExxonMobil, are committed to protecting the safety, security,

and health of its employees, contractors, and the public, with a goal of Nobody Gets Hurt. It has a

robust and effective management system to protect its Project workforce. EEPGL will

implement its Operations Integrity Management System (OIMS) (see Section 2.2) during each

Project stage. This program is designed to manage occupational risks to Project workers and,

therefore, occupational health and safety are not discussed further in this EIA.



2.14 Project Schedule

At this time, the proposed Project schedule is still being refined. The Project life cycle will

include development drilling, installation, production operations, and decommissioning, as

well as associated logistics and onshore support. The engineering stage will precede FPSO and

SURF installation and development drilling operations, and will include front-end engineering

and design (FEED) and detailed engineering. The execution stage will include procurement,

fabrication and construction, drilling, installation, hook-up, commissioning, and start-up.

Operations and maintenance will follow start-up and will be the longest stage of the Project.



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EEPGL Environmental Impact Assessment

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Chapter 2

Project Description



Figure 2-24 provides a preliminary schedule for the major Project components and activities. As

depicted on Figure 2-24, oil production and export from the Project is planned for

approximately mid-2020. To support this goal, development well drilling from up to two drill

ships is planned to start in early 2019, with the potential for mobilization in 2018. The

installation of the SURF components and the FPSO are planned to commence in 2019.

Production will continue for at least 20 years. The milestones are still being refined and are

subject to change.

This schedule provides for simultaneous development drilling and FPSO/SURF production

operations, which will involve bringing the initial production wells online as subsequent

development wells are being drilled.

Figure 2-24



Preliminary Project Schedule

Liza Phase 1 Project - Preliminary Schedule



2016

FPSO

SURF



2017



2018



2019



Engineering



Fabrication



Engineering



Manufacturing and Transportation

Shorebase Support



Logistics



SURF & FPSO Installation



FPSO/SURF Installation



HU&C



Hook-up & Commissioning

Development Drilling



2020

Tow



Engineering



Procurement



Drilling (up to 2 Drill Ships)



Startup

Production



2.15 Project Benefits

The Project will generate benefits for the citizens of Guyana in several ways:











Through revenue sharing with the Government of Guyana, although the details of this

revenue sharing is confidential. The type and extent of benefits associated with revenue

sharing will depend on how decision makers in government decide to prioritize and

allocate funding for future programs, which is unknown and outside the scope of the EIA;

By procuring select Project goods and services from Guyanese businesses to the extent

reasonably practicable; and

By hiring Guyanese nationals where reasonably practicable, although the potential

magnitude of hiring will be limited.



In addition to direct revenue sharing, expenditures, and employment, the Project would also

likely generate induced economic benefits as other non-Project related businesses benefiting

from direct Project purchases or worker spending will re-invest locally or expand spending in

the area, thereby also generating more local value-added tax. These beneficial “multiplier”

impacts will occur throughout the Project life.



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Chapter 2

Project Description



2.16 Alternatives

This section describes the alternatives to the proposed Project that were considered:











Location alternatives;

Development concept alternatives;

Technology and process alternatives; and

No-go alternative.



2.16.1 Location Alternatives

The location of the Project, and the development wells in particular, is driven by the location of

resource to be recovered. There are no meaningful location alternatives for the FPSO, SURF

equipment, and drill centers within the PDA.



2.16.2 Development Concept Alternatives

Given the water depth and distance to shore of the Liza field, the development alternatives for

Phase 1 are primarily limited to floating production systems (e.g., FPSO, semi-submersible,

tension leg platforms). With the exception of the FPSO concept, the other deepwater production

systems would necessitate the use of a separate Floating Storage and Offloading (FSO) vessel

for oil storage and offloading in order to enable export of the oil to buyers. The use of an FSO

would significantly increase the Project offshore infrastructure, which would increase Project

impacts on air quality (e.g., increased air emissions), marine water quality (e.g., additional

wastewater discharges), marine benthos (e.g., increased disturbance of the seafloor FSO for

mooring system), marine use and transportation (e.g., expanded exclusion zones for other

marine vessels). Therefore, the FPSO was chosen as the preferred concept for Phase 1 because it

is a more efficient, stand-alone solution for deepwater oil processing and storage, and it also

provides for fewer environmental impacts.

Three primary alternatives were considered for addressing associated gas produced during

Phase 1 operations: gas re-injection, gas export, and continuous flaring. Gas re-injection was

determined to be feasible for Phase 1, and it also provides benefits in reservoir management and

reduced air emissions. As such, produced gas not used as fuel gas on the FPSO will be reinjected under normal operations. Continuous flaring of gas on a routine basis is not preferred,

primarily due to the associated air emissions. Gas export alternatives for future development

continue to be evaluated, particularly given challenges related to commercialization of

associated gas. The FPSO has been designed to allow for future gas export should an export

alternative be identified.



2.16.3 Technology Alternatives

EEPGL is using the most appropriate industry-proven technology in developing the Project in

terms of well drilling, drilling fluids, equipment selection, development concepts, and

environmental management. EEPGL’s parent company ExxonMobil and its contractors have

extensive experience in delivering offshore deepwater development projects around the world,

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particularly with FPSO and SURF components, and are applying that knowledge, experience,

and technology in the development of the Project in Guyana.



2.16.4 No-go Alternative

The no-go alternative means that the proposed Project would not be executed. If this alternative

is applied, the existing conditions described in Chapter 6 would remain unaffected by the

Project and the potential positive and negative impacts assessed in Chapter 7 would not be

realized. Therefore, evaluating the no-go alternative means evaluating the tradeoff between

positive and negative impacts.



2.16.5 Summary of Alternatives

EEPGL considered a reasonable range of alternatives to the Project and their environmental

impacts, and has selected the best action alternative, which is also the environmentally

preferred alternative, for use during Phase 1. The FPSO and SURF production system is a

proven development concept for deepwater oil developments and would leverage both

operator and industry proven technologies and experiences.



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3.0 ADMINISTRATIVE FRAMEWORK

The Project must comply with applicable policies, guidelines, and legislation in Guyana (see

Section 1.1, Purpose of the EIA). This chapter reviews the relevant legislations and policies in

Guyana that are applicable to the Project and is divided into three sections:













Section 3.1 describes Guyana’s national legal framework, focusing on laws that apply to

environmental issues in a general context such as the Constitution of Guyana, as well as

specific national laws and regulations that focus on environmental issues such as the EP Act

(Cap. 20:05) and the Environmental Protection (Authorisation) Regulations of 2000, and

petroleum development issues. It also identifies several resource-specific environmental

laws that are more narrowly focused and are directly or indirectly relevant to the Project.

Section 3.2 describes the elements of the national policy framework that apply to the Project.

These strategies and policies articulate the government’s goals with respect to various

environmental issues.

Section 3.3 describes the various international and regional conventions and protocols to

which Guyana is a signatory that are applicable to the Project.



In addition to these Guyana regulations, Section 3.4 discusses EEPGL’s Operations Integrity

Management System (OIMS), which establishes common expectations to address risks inherent

in its business.



3.1 National Legal Framework

This section provides an overview of the key legislation currently in force in Guyana that

pertains to resources that could be affected by the Project.



3.1.1 National Constitution of Guyana

Guyana is governed according to the Constitution of the Co-operative Republic of Guyana, as

amended. The constitution took effect in 1980 and expressly provides for protection of the

environment. Article 25 establishes “improvement of the environment” as a general duty of the

citizenry.



3.1.2 The Environmental Protection Act

In 1996, the EP Act (Cap. 20:05) was ratified to implement the environmental provisions of the

Constitution. The EP Act (Cap. 20:05)

is Guyana’s single most significant piece of

environmental legislation because it articulates national policy on important environmental

topics such as pollution control, the requirements for environmental review of projects that

could potentially impact the environment, and the penalties for environmental infractions. It

also provides for the establishment of an environmental trust fund. Most importantly, the EP

Act (Cap. 20:05) authorized the formation of the EPA, and establishes the EPA as the lead

agency on environmental matters in Guyana (FAO, 2013). The EPA is one of the agencies

included within the Ministry of Natural Resources. The EP Act (Cap. 20:05) further mandates

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the EPA to oversee the effective management, conservation, protection, and improvement of the

environment (EPA, 2012). It also requires the EPA to take the necessary measures to ensure the

prevention and control of pollution, assessment of the impact of economic development on the

environment, and the sustainable use of natural resources.

The EPA has issued an official guidance document entitled “Environmental Impact Assessment

Guidelines” which describes the general components and content of a typical EIA. This EIA has

been prepared consistent with the recommendations in this document (see Table 1-2).



3.1.3 The Guyana Geology and Mines Commission Act

The Guyana Geology and Mines Commission Act was enacted in 1979 and authorized the

government to establish the GGMC, which is within the Ministry of Natural Resources. The

GGMC promotes and regulates the exploration and development of the country’s mineral

resources. The GGMC has a dedicated Petroleum Unit charged specifically with regulatory

supervision of the oil and gas sector; however, petroleum-related activities also occur in other

divisions, such as the Geological Services Division and the Environment Division.



3.1.4 The Petroleum Act

The Petroleum (Exploration and Production) Act was enacted in 1986 to regulate the

prospecting for and production of petroleum in Guyana, including the territorial sea,

continental shelf, and exclusive economic zone. This act identifies persons allowed to hold

prospecting licenses, establishes the process for obtaining prospecting licenses, and specifies

requirements for further resource development in the event petroleum resources are

discovered.

The GGMC has a dedicated Petroleum Unit charged specifically with regulatory supervision of

the oil and gas sector; however, petroleum-related activities also occur in other divisions, such

as the Geological Services Division and the Environment Division. In 2012, the Commonwealth

Secretariat was commissioned by the Government’s then Ministry of Natural Resources and

Environment, now the Ministry of Natural Resources, to prepare recommendations to reform

Guyana’s regulatory regime that governs the upstream petroleum sector. In September 2015,

the Minister of Governance (via the GGMC’s Petroleum Unit) announced plans to upgrade the

country’s upstream oil and gas policy, which was originally crafted in 2012 and finalized in

2014. In June 2016, the Ministry of Natural Resources completed a new national oil and gas

policy and announced pending revisions to the Petroleum Act. These revisions were due for

consideration by Guyana’s National Assembly before the end of 2016 (Kaieteur News, 2016) but

had not been presented for approval as of February 2017. In late January 2017, Guyana’s

Government Information Agency (GINA) announced the Ministry of Natural Resources’ plan to

conduct a national outreach program to provide information to the public and answer questions

on the emerging oil and gas sector (GINA, 2017).



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3.1.5 Other Resource-Specific National Environmental and Social Laws

Several additional Guyanese environmental laws with more narrowly defined scopes pertain to

specific biological or physical natural resources. Other laws which primarily have a public

health related focus are also indirectly related to the environment. Several of Guyana’s

environmental statutes were enacted prior to the 1980 Constitution and were subsequently

incorporated into the newly formed national legal framework, but most were enacted after 1980.

Table 3-1 identifies these laws and summarizes their relevance to the Project.

Table 3-1



Resource-Specific Environmental and Social Laws



Title

Biological Resources

Fisheries Act, 2002



Objective



Relevance to the Project



Regulates fishing and related

activities in Guyana territorial

waters.



Wild Birds Protection Act,

1987



Protects listed wild birds in

Guyana.



Species Protection

Regulations, 1999



Provides for the establishment of

a Management Authority and a

Scientific Authority in compliance

with the Convention on

International Trade in

Endangered Species of Wild

Fauna and Flora (CITES).

Provides for the establishment of

a Management Authority and the

management of the country’s flora

and fauna.



The Fisheries Act authorizes the

prohibition and/or regulation of

deposition or discharge of

substances harmful to fish.

Would primarily affect the

contents of routine discharges

from Project vessels and the

FPSO.

Sections 3 and 6 prohibit

knowingly wounding or killing

wild birds listed in the First and

Second Schedule of the Act and

establishes penalties.

Provides for wildlife protection,

conservation, and management.



Wildlife Management and

Conservation Regulations,

2013 (recently

supplemented by passing of

Wildlife Conservation and

Management Bill, 2016)



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Provides a supportive

mechanism cognizant of the

national goals for wildlife

protection, conservation,

management and sustainable

use.



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Physical Resources

Environmental Protection

Water Quality Regulations,

2000



Environmental Protection

Air Quality Regulations,

2000



Environmental Protection

Hazardous Waste

Regulations, 2000



Toxic Chemicals Control

Act No. 13 of 2000, as

amended in 2007



Environmental Protection

Noise Management

Regulations, 2000



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Focused on setting effluent

standards, reporting

requirements, penalties for

violations of standards, and

permitting requirements for

discharges.



Sets ambient air quality standards,

reporting requirements, penalties

for violations of standards, and

permitting requirements for

stationary and mobile sources.

Establishes requirements for

generating, handling, and

disposing of hazardous waste as

well as penalties for violations of

these requirements.

Provides for the formation of a

Pesticides and Toxic Chemicals

Control Board. Establishes

requirements for registration,

licensure, and trade in pesticides

and toxic chemicals. Amended in

2007 to provide rules for the

exportation of pesticides and toxic

chemicals.

Establishes general provisions for

noise avoidance and restrictions

from multiple commercial and

industrial sources including

sound making devices, night

clubs, equipment, tools, and

construction activities.



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Regulates discharges of listed

substances, which could include

substances used during the

Project. Would affect the

concentrations of certain

constituents (primarily metals,

but including others such as

nitrogenous compounds,

fluoride, and sulfate) that could

be discharged in the routine

discharges from the Project.

Regulates discharges that could

be emitted during the Project,

including smoke, particulates,

and carbon monoxide (CO).

Identifies wastes subject to

regulation, including several

types of waste that could be

produced by the Project.

Establishes regulations

pertaining to the use of toxic

chemicals and pesticides.

Pesticides will not be required

for this Project, but small

amounts of chemicals may be

used. The Act would regulate

the importation, registration,

and use of these chemicals.

Tools and equipment includes

pile drivers, steam shovels,

pneumatic hammers, pumps,

vent or valve devices and any

other similar equipment. A

regulated facility includes any

offshore installation and any

other installation, whether

floating or resting on the seabed.



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Draft Guyana Standard,

Requirements for Industrial

Effluent Discharge into the

Environment, 2015



Public Health

Occupational Safety and

Health Act, 1997



Food & Drug Regulations

(Food and Drug Act)



Social / Cultural Resources

National Trust Act



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Compulsory standard used for

monitoring of effluents into

freshwater, estuarine, and marine

water resources.



Sets limits for key parameters in

discharges of industrial effluent.

Would affect the concentrations

of many of the same constituents

in routine discharges that would

be regulated under the

Environmental Protection Water

Quality Regulations 2000.

Would also dictate the general

water chemistry parameters

(e.g., temperature, biological

oxygen demand, pH) of these

discharges.



Legally defines the responsibilities

of workers and management with

respect to keeping workplaces

safe.

Regulates the sale, advertisement,

preparation, and handling of food

products. Regulates the

manufacture, advertisement,

trade, and administration of

pharmaceuticals. Provides the

Ministry of Health authority to

inspect facilities to establish

compliance with sanitation

standards.



Would generally apply to

workers and Project-related

activities on the Project site(s).



Stewardship of historic resources

and places of cultural significance.



Governs the management of any

building, structure, object, or

other man-made or natural

feature that is of historic or

national cultural significance

that could be impacted by the

Project. Includes shipwrecks and

other marine features. Would

only apply to the Project in the

event of a chance find, in which

case the Act would require

EEPGL to work cooperatively

with the National Trust to

manage any resources

discovered.



Governs the preparation of food

and provision of medications at

Project facilities.



Most recently, the Minister of Natural Resources, who functions as the sponsoring Minister for

the Oil and Gas industry, announced plans in September 2015 to upgrade the country’s

upstream oil and gas policy, which was originally crafted in 2012 and finalized in 2014,

indicating an evolving policy and regulatory framework surrounding the oil and gas industry

in Guyana.



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To date, there are 16 laws concerning oil and gas in Guyana. The majority of these laws are

housed with the EPA, National Advisory Council on Occupational Safety and Health, Guyana

Revenue Authority (GRA), GGMC, or Guyana National Bureau of Standards.



3.2 National Policy Framework

Guyana’s government has articulated national policies on several environmental and social

topics that are relevant to the Project. This section provides an overview of the key government

policies applicable to the Project.



3.2.1 National Development Strategy

The National Development Strategy (NDS) recommends priorities for Guyana's economic and

social development policies for the next decade. The draft document contains technical analysis

of problems and future prospects in all sectors of the economy and in areas of social concern.

The NDS contains six volumes. Volumes 3 and 5 are the most relevant to the Project. Volume 3

of the NDS sets government policy with regard to the environment as well as social equality

issues. It identifies 12 distinct “features” of Guyana’s natural resources and environment, and

sets policies governing the management of each feature. Relevant features to this Project

covered under Volume 3 include the coastal zone, fisheries, waste management, pollution

control, and environmental impacts of private-sector activities (NDS, 1997).

Volume 5 of the NDS relates in part to the energy sector. It describes the condition of the energy

sector in Guyana, reviews past government policies related to the energy sector, identifies

challenges facing the energy sector in Guyana, and describes the government’s vision for

development and regulation of the sector into the future (NDS, 1997).



3.2.2 National Environmental Action Plan

Guyana’s National Environmental Action Plan (NEAP) articulates the national government’s

approach to managing the environment from the perspective of economic development. The

NEAP considers the issues of environmental management, economic development, social

justice, and public health to be inextricably linked. It identifies deforestation, pollution, and

unregulated gold mining as historically minor but with growing environmental problems, and

identifies private sector investment as one of the primary opportunities to generate the

necessary capacity within Guyana to: 1) provide an appropriate level of public services to its

citizens; 2) reduce and/or eliminate the avoidable environmental degradation that occurs when

resource development occurs in a regulatory vacuum; and 3) reduce unsustainable uses of

natural resources due to the socioeconomic pressures of widespread poverty.

The NEAP is directly relevant to the Project in several ways. It identifies the coastal zone, which

will support Project activities, as an area in need of focused management due to the

concentrated human population along the coast and the susceptibility of the coastal

environment to both natural and human-induced degradation. It identifies private sector-led

development projects as a mechanism to build capacity and ultimately support more



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responsible environmental management. Finally, it identifies petroleum resources as a potential

target for development.



3.2.3 Integrated Coastal Zone Management Action Plan

Guyana’s Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) process is an ongoing initiative to:

promote the wise use, development, and protection of coastal and marine resources; enhance

collaboration among sectorial agencies; and promote economic development. In 2000, after two

years of study, the ICZM Committee produced an ICZM Action Plan, which was approved by

the Cabinet in 2001.

The ICZM Action Plan addresses policy development, analysis and planning, coordination,

public awareness building and education, control and compliance, monitoring and

measurement and information management (GLSC, 2006). Other coastal-zone related tasks

currently being undertaken by the Government include: strengthening the institutional setup

for ICZM; conducting a public awareness campaign to increase public understanding of the

vulnerability of the coastal zone to sea level rise and climate change; and creating a database of

coastal resources to facilitate improved ICZM. Currently, the EPA is mandated to coordinate

the ICZM program and coordinate the development of the ICZM Action Plan through the

ICZM Committee.

Under the Caribbean Planning for Adaptation to Climate Change project, Guyana has also

conducted a socioeconomic assessment of sea-level rise as part of a wider vulnerability

assessment and developed a Climate Change Adaptation Policy and Implementation Strategy

for coastal and low-lying areas.



3.2.4 Protected Areas Act

The Protected Areas Act was enacted in 2011. It provides for protection and conservation of

Guyana's natural heritage and natural capital through a national network of protected areas,

and established a Protected Areas Commission to oversee the management of this network. It

also highlights the importance of maintaining ecosystem services of national and global

importance and public participation in protected areas and conservation, and it establishes a

protected areas trust fund to ensure adequate financial support for maintenance of the network.

Other functions of this Act include promoting national pride in and encouraging stewardship of

Guyana's natural heritage, recognizing the conservation efforts and achievements of

Amerindian Villages and Amerindian Communities, and promoting the recovery and

rehabilitation of vulnerable, threatened, and endangered species.



3.2.5 Guyana's National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (NBSAP)

Guyana’s current National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan was formally adopted in 2015,

and is the third iteration of the NBSAP. It establishes the national vision for biodiversity, which

is to sustainably utilize, manage, and mainstream biodiversity by 2030, thereby contributing to

the advancement of Guyana’s bio-security, and socio-economic and low carbon development. It

is intended to guide national policy with respect to biodiversity through 2020. It recognizes the



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importance of biodiversity to the growing ecotourism industry and other economic sectors. It

also simultaneously recognized the importance of the mining industry to the national economy

and the potential for conflicts between the mining industry and ecotourism if land degradation

is associated with mining activity is not appropriately managed. The NBSAP set forth nine

strategic objectives intended to promote conservation and sustainability on a national scale,

improve biodiversity monitoring, harmonize legal and policy-based mechanisms across all

levels of government to support biodiversity conservation, and prioritize funding to meet these

objectives.



3.2.6 Low Carbon Development Strategy and the Green Economy

In June 2009, the Government of Guyana announced the Low Carbon Development Strategy

(LCDS). The LCDS aims to protect and maintain the forests in an effort to reduce global carbon

emissions and at the same time attract payments from developed countries for the climate

services that the forests provide. In 2013 the LCDS was updated to focus on two main goals: (1)

transforming the national economy to deliver greater economic and social development by

following a low carbon development path while simultaneously combating climate change (2)

providing a model for the world of how climate change can be addressed through low carbon

development in developing countries. The LCDS identifies Reducing Deforestation and Forest

Degradation Plus as a primary mechanism for achieving the goals of the strategy.

Although there is no formal government plan for achieving a “green economy”, the

Government of Guyana has expressed interest in the concept. President David Granger has

defined the “green economy” as consisting of the four “pillars” of energy, environmental

security, ecological services, and enterprise and employment (Kaieteur News, 2016). The LCDS

provides the conceptual framework for implementing the “green economy”.



3.2.7 Guyana Energy Agency’s Strategic Plan

The Guyana Energy Agency (GEA) was established by the Guyana Energy Agency Act of 1997

with a mandate to advise the Prime Minister on energy related issues, develop a national

energy policy, improve energy efficiency, monitor the energy sector, and educate the public on

energy efficiency and renewable energy (GEA, undated). The GEA’s Strategic Plan for 20142018 specifically charges the Agency with monitoring “the production, importation,

distribution, and utilization of petroleum and petroleum products.”



3.3 International Conventions and Protocols

Guyana is signatory to a number of international agreements and conventions relating to

environmental management and community rights, although not all of these agreements have

been translated into national legislation. The key agreements relevant to the Project to which

Guyana has acceded or is a signatory are listed in Table 3-2.

Guyana is a member state of two organizations that administer multiple international treaties

and conventions: the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the International Maritime

Organization (IMO). The ILO has established eight “fundamental” conventions which provide



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certain general protections to workers in signatory states such as the right to organize,

standards for remuneration, restrictions on child labor (including minimum ages to work), and

protection from forced labor. In addition to these fundamental agreements, Guyana is

signatory to several specific agreements that would govern certain specific aspects of the Project

as they relate to labor.

The IMO is a similar organization whose member states have agreed to one or more

conventions related to maritime activities. These include three “key” conventions (the

International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, the International Convention for the

Prevention of Pollution from Ships, and the International Convention on Standards of Training,

Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers) as well as several other agreements concerning

more specific aspects of maritime activity such as safety and security at sea, maritime pollution,

and liability for maritime casualties. Guyana’s Maritime Administration manages compliance

with the requirements of the agreements Guyana is signatory to under the IMO, with technical

assistance from the IMO’s Regional Maritime Advisory Office in Port of Spain, Trinidad.

The agreements to which Guyana is party through its membership in the ILO and IMO are

identified in bold in Table 3.2.

Table 3-2



International Agreements Relevant to Environmental and Socioeconomic Issues

in Guyana



Agreement/

Convention



Objective



Climate Change/Air Quality

United Nations

Promote international cooperation

Framework

to limit average temperature

Convention on Climate increases and resulting changes in

Change

climate. Promote international

cooperation to adapt to these

impacts.



Kyoto Protocol



Vienna Convention on

the Protection of the

Ozone Layer

Montreal Protocol on

Substances that

Deplete the Ozone

Layer



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Status



Relevance to Project



Acceded

and

Ratified in

1994



Provides for controls on

greenhouse gas

emissions within

Guyana’s territory

(maritime and land), and

establishes national

policy regarding

adaptation to climate

change.

Establishes national

emission reduction

targets.

Establishes measures for

protecting the ozone

layer.

Prohibits the use of

several groups of

halogenated

hydrocarbons that may

deplete the ozone layer.



Extends the UNFCCC and

commits countries to reduce

greenhouse gas emissions.

Provides a framework for the

protection of the ozone layer.



Acceded in

2003



Is a protocol to the Vienna

Convention and is designed to

protect the ozone layer by phasing

out the production of numerous

substances that are responsible for

ozone depletion.



Acceded in

1993



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Acceded in

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Pollution Prevention

International

Convention for the

Prevention of Pollution

from Ships



International

Convention for Safe

Containers



International

Convention Relating to

Intervention on the

High Seas in Cases of

Oil Pollution

Casualties

International

Convention on Civil

Liability for Oil

Pollution Damage



Basel Convention on

the Transboundary

Movement of

Hazardous Wastes and

Their Disposal



Rotterdam Convention

on the Prior Informed

Consent Procedure for

Certain Hazardous

Chemicals and

Pesticides in

International Trade



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Regulates various forms of marine

pollution, including oil and fuel,

noxious liquid, hazardous

substances, sewage, garbage, air

emissions, and ballast water.



Acceded in

1997



Impacts the handling and

disposition of controlled

substances from the drill

ships, FPSO, and support

vessels.



Promote the safe transport and

handling of containers through

generally acceptable test

procedures and related strength

requirements, and facilitate the

international transport of

containers by providing uniform

international safety regulations,

equally applicable to all modes of

surface transport.

Confirms the right of coastal

member states to take specific

actions when necessary to prevent

pollution from oil following a

maritime casualty



Acceded in

1997



Regulates the

manufacture, use, and

integrity of containers

used on board the drill

ships, FPSO, and support

vessels.



Acceded in

1997



Would protect Guyana’s

rights to respond to an

oil spill if such an event

were to occur.



Establishes vessel owners’ liability

for damages caused by pollution

from oil spills and provides for

compensation would be available

where oil pollution damage was

caused by maritime casualties

involving oil tankers

Reduce and control the

movements of hazardous waste

between nations and discourage

transfer of hazardous waste from

developed to less developed

countries.



Acceded in

1997



Would not apply directly

to EEPGL’s activities, but

would apply to potential

spills from tankers that

had received oil from the

FPSO.



Acceded in

2001



Provides a mechanism for

formally obtaining and

disseminating decisions of party

nations as to whether they wish to

receive future shipments of listed

chemicals, and for ensuring

compliance with these decisions

by exporting party nations.



Acceded in

2007



Would apply to the

Project only if hazardous

waste generated in

Guyana were disposed

outside Guyana, or if

hazardous waste was

brought into Guyana

from a foreign state for

disposal during

execution of the Project.

Would apply to the

Project only if chemicals

and/or pesticides listed

under the convention

were shipped into or out

of Guyana.



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Stockholm Convention

on Persistent Organic

Pollutants (POPs), as

amended



Requires party nations to take

measures to eliminate or reduce

the release of persistent organic

pollutants.



Acceded in

2007



International

Convention on Oil

Pollution

Preparedness,

Response and

Cooperation



Establishes measures for dealing

with marine oil pollution incidents



Ratified in

1997



Ecological/Environmental Quality/Cultural Heritage

The Cartagena

Provide framework for

Convention for the

international protection and

Protection and

development of the marine

Development of the

environment across the Caribbean

Marine Environment in region.

the Wider Caribbean

Region

Protocol on Specially

Protocol supplementing and

Protected Areas and

supporting the Cartagena

Wildlife

Convention. Requires signatories

to adopt an ecosystem approach to

conservation. Provides mechanism

for compliance with the

Convention on Biological

Diversity.

Convention on

Promotes biological conservation

Biological Diversity

within the framework of

sustainable development and use

of biological resources, and the fair

and equitable sharing of benefits

of genetic resources.



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Would apply to the

Project only if POPs were

released to the

environment during the

course of Project-related

activities in Guyana.

Requires ships to have a

shipboard oil pollution

emergency plan.



Acceded

and

Ratified in

2010



Sets general goals for

protection for the marine

environment, especially

from pollution.



Acceded

and

Ratified in

2010



Elaborates on the wildlife

goals established in the

Cartagena Convention

and Convention on

Biological Diversity.



Signed in

1992,

Ratified in

1994



Discourages activities

that would negatively

impact biodiversity.



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United Nations

Convention on the Law

of the Seas



Defines nations’ rights and

responsibilities in terms of their

use of oceans and provides

guidance on environmental and

natural resource management.



Concluded

in 1982 and

ratified in

1994



Defines legal status of

subsea mineral resources

as the “common heritage

of humankind,”

encourages resource

development to be done

in a way that supports

healthy global economic

growth and trade

balance, and mandates

that states take measures

to prevent, control, and

reduce pollution of the

oceans.



Convention on

International Trade in

Endangered Species of

Wild Flora and Fauna

UNESCO Convention

on the Protection of the

Underwater Cultural

Heritage



Protects endangered plants and

animals from international trade.



Acceded in

1977



Restricts collection and

trade of endangered

species.



Protects “all traces of human

existence having a cultural,

historical, or archaeological

character” that have been under

water for over 100 years.



Ratified in

2014



Applies to shipwrecks.



Specifies minimum standards for

the construction, equipment and

operation of vessels, compatible

with their safety. Allows

governments of participating

states to inspect vessels flagged in

other participating states to ensure

compliance.

Promotes safety at sea by

criminalizing actions that would

endanger a vessel or its cargo, or

contributing to activities that

would do so.



Acceded in

1997



Affects construction,

operation, and

equipment on board the

drill ships, FPSO,

installation vessels, and

support vessels.



Acceded in

2003



Regulates activities associated

with the loading and unloading of

cargo onto/from oceangoing

vessels when at port.



Acceded

1983



Would apply to any

activity intended to

endanger vessels while at

sea conducting permitted

activities related the

Project.

Would apply to loading

and offloading activities

at the shorebase.



Labor/Health/Safety

International

Convention for the

Safety of Life at Sea



Convention for the

Suppression of

Unlawful Acts against

the Safety of Maritime

Navigation

Dock Work

Convention



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Repatriation of

Seafarers Convention

(Revised)



Seafarer’s Identify

Documents

Convention



Convention on the

International

Regulations for

Preventing Collisions

at Sea



International

Convention on

Standards of Training,

Certification and

Watchkeeping



Convention on

Facilitation of

International Maritime

Traffic



Chapter 3

Administrative Framework



Requires vessel owners/operators

to repatriate (at the operator’s

expense) seafarers that have

successfully concluded a

minimum period of service

onboard a vessel (minimum time

to qualify for this benefit to be

determined by the member state

but not to exceed 12 months)

Requires signatory states to issue

identity cards to seafarers and for

other signatory states to allow

holders of these cards entry to

their territories for the purposes of

shore leave, joining a crew, or

repatriation after completing a

voyage.



Acceded

1996



Would apply to workers

onboard both EEPGL

owned/operated vessels,

their contractors, and

tankers receiving oil from

the FPSO.



Acceded

1966



Officially recognizes the

importance of traffic separation in

the marine environment and

codifies basic measures to

accommodate traffic separation,

including safe speed, signaling

conventions, and general vessel

conduct.

Obligates crews operating vessels

flagged in signatory states to

adhere to minimum standards

relating to training, certification

and watch keeping. Requires

signatory states to submit detailed

information to the International

Maritime Organization concerning

administrative measures taken to

ensure compliance with the

convention.

Prevent unnecessary delays in

maritime traffic arising from

burdensome documentation

requirements, and establish

uniform formalities and other

procedures to permit

transboundary maritime

commerce and travel.



Acceded in

1997



Would apply to seafarers

entering or egressing

Guyana prior to or

following employment

on vessels operated by

EEPGL or its contractors,

and to seafarers on shore

leave while employed by

EEPGL or its contractors.

Governs operation of

drill ships, FPSO,

installation vessels, and

support vessels.



Acceded in

1997



Impacts required

capabilities of crew on

board the drill ships,

FPSO, installation

vessels, and support

vessels, and provides for

inspection by authorities

to ensure compliance.



Acceded in

1998



Facilitates entry of drill

ships, FPSO, installation

vessels, and support

vessels into Guyana.



Guyana also belongs to other international organizations such as the Organization of American

States, the International Monetary Fund, and the Caribbean Community.

To highlight Guyana’s adherence to international standards and guidelines relevant to the oil

and gas sector, in May 2010 the country announced its commitment to the implementation of



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the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, and in September 2015, the country

recommitted its support to the ILO.



3.4 EEPGL’s Operations Integrity Management System

The Company and its affiliates (including EEPGL) are committed to conducting business in a

manner that is compatible with the environmental and economic needs of the communities in

which it operates, and that protects the safety, security, and health of its employees, those

involved with its operations, its customers, and the public. These commitments are documented

in its Safety, Security, Health, Environmental, and Product Safety policies. These policies are

put into practice through a disciplined management framework called OIMS.

EEPGL’s OIMS Framework14 establishes common expectations used by Company affiliates

worldwide for addressing risks inherent in its business. The term Operations Integrity (OI) is

used to address all aspects of its business that can impact personnel and process safety, security,

health, and environmental performance.

Application of the OIMS Framework is required across all Company affiliates, with particular

emphasis on design, construction, and operations. Management is responsible for ensuring that

management systems that satisfy the OIMS Framework are in place. Implementation will be

consistent with the risks associated with the business activities being planned and performed.

Figure 3-1 provides a high level description of the OIMS Framework and its 11 essential

Elements.



http://corporate.exxonmobil.com/company/about-us/safety-and-health/operations-integrity-managementsystem15 The European Nature Information System (EUNIS) is a habitat classification system developed by the

European Environment Agency (EEA) in collaboration with international experts. The EUNIS includes all types of

natural and artificial habitats, both aquatic and terrestrial.

14



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Figure 3-1



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Operations Integrity Management System



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4.0 METHODOLOGY FOR PREPARING THE ENVIRONMENTAL

IMPACT ASSESSMENT

The purpose of this EIA is to assess the potential physical, biological, and socioeconomic

(including social, economic, community health, and cultural) impacts of the Project. This

chapter provides a summary of the approach and methodology used to assess the potential

impacts associated with the Project. The EIA has been undertaken in a manner consistent with

the Guyana Environmental Impact Assessment Guidelines – Volumes 1 and 2 (2000 and 2004,

respectively).

This chapter also describes the process used to conduct the EIA. The EIA was prepared to

provide an independent, science-based evaluation of the potential impacts associated with the

development drilling, installation, production operations, and decommissioning stages of the

Project. The EIA is also intended to share those findings with stakeholders and decision-makers

so they can make informed decisions regarding the potential benefits and impacts of the Project,

as well as the measures proposed to enhance these benefits and mitigate these impacts.

This EIA has been undertaken following a systematic process that evaluates the potential

impacts that the Project could have on physical, biological, and socioeconomic

resources/receptors, and that identifies measures that EEPGL will take to avoid, reduce, and

remedy adverse impacts. For the purposes of the EIA, an “impact” is defined as any alteration

of existing conditions (adverse or beneficial) caused directly or indirectly by the Project. The EP

Act (Cap. 20:05) defines an “adverse” impact as meaning one or more of the following:



















Impairment of the quality of the natural environment or any use that can be made of it;

Injury or damage to property or to plant or animal life;

Harm or material discomfort to any person;

An adverse effect on the health of any person;

Impairment of the safety of any person;

Rendering any property or plant or animal life unfit for use by human or unfit for its role in

the ecosystem;

Loss of enjoyment of normal use of property; and

Interference with the normal conduct of business.



Information on potential impacts, including potential cumulative impacts related to the Project,

was obtained by ERM from various primary and secondary sources, including: consultation and

key informant interviews with the EPA, GGMC, and other stakeholders; environmental impact

assessments for other similar projects worldwide; and scientific research and literature.

The key stages for this EIA approach are:











Screening;

Scoping and Terms of Reference;

Assessing Existing Conditions;

Project Description and Interaction with Design and Decision-Making Process;



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Stakeholder Engagement;

Assessment of Impacts and Identification of Mitigation;

Mitigation, Management, and Monitoring; and

Disclosure and Reporting.



The methodologies for the key stages are described in the subsequent sections.



4.1 Screening

The first stage of the EIA process involved the EPA screening the Project to determine the

appropriate level of analysis to support the Application for Environmental Authorisation

(Application) submitted by EEPGL. The EPA screens projects based on the information

provided in the Application and determines the depth of environmental assessment/type of

document required to support the Application. Based on the results of its screening assessment,

the EPA may determine that the information included in the application is sufficient to support

a permitting decision, or it may require a Strategic Environmental Assessment, Environmental

Management Plan, and/or an Environmental Impact Assessment. The EPA determined that the

Project could result in potentially significant impacts, and, in accordance with the EP Act (Cap.

20:05), indicated on July 29, 2016 that the Project requires an Environmental Impact Assessment

to inform a decision to approve or reject the Project.



4.2 Scoping and Terms of Reference

The key objectives of scoping are to:











Identify key sensitivities and those actions having the potential to cause or contribute to

significant impacts on physical, biological, and socioeconomic resources/receptors;

Identify potential siting, layout, and technology alternatives for the Project;

Obtain stakeholder views through consultation; and

Help inform the Terms of Reference (ToR) for the EIA through consultation to ensure that

the process and output are focused on the key issues. The ToR describes the scope, technical

approach, and issues of importance to be considered in the EIA.



EPA issued a draft ToR for the Project on September 8, 2016, and its availability was advertised

in the newspaper on September 9, 2016. Sector Agency Scoping Meetings were held on October

5 and 6, 2016, to receive government agency comments on the draft ToR. Public Scoping

Meetings were held in each of the six coastal regions as follows to receive public comments on

the draft ToR:















Region 1:

Region 2:

Region 3:

Region 4:

Region 5:

Region 6:



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November 14, 2016

October 26, 2016

October 24, 2016

December 3, 2016

December 2, 2016

November 8, 2016.



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Following the public scoping meetings, the EPA required the submittal of an updated Project

Summary, which EEPGL submitted on January 13, 2017. The EPA issued a public notice for the

updated Project Summary with an additional 28-day public comment period. EPA approved

the Final ToR on February 17, 2017. The Final ToR was developed to guide the preparation of

the EIA and outline the requirements of the same. The Final ToR incorporated the concerns,

issues, and suggestions garnered during the 28-day Public Notification Period and the public

and sector agency meetings described above.



4.3 Assessing Existing Conditions

The description of existing physical, environmental, and socioeconomic conditions provides

information on resources/receptors identified during scoping that have the potential to be

significantly impacted by the Project. The description of existing conditions is aimed at

providing sufficient detail to meet the following objectives:















Identify the key conditions and sensitivities in areas potentially impacted by the Project;

Provide a basis for extrapolation of the current situation, taking into consideration natural

variability, and development of future scenarios without the Project;

Provide data to aid the prediction and evaluation of potential impacts of the Project;

Understand stakeholder concerns, perceptions, and expectations regarding the Project;

Inform development of appropriate mitigation measures; and

Provide a benchmark to inform assessments of future changes and of the effectiveness of

mitigation measures.



Field studies conducted to document existing conditions for the EIA are described in Chapter 6.



4.4 Interaction with Design and Decision-Making Process

The interaction between the EIA team and the design and decision-making process was one of

the key areas in which the EIA influenced how the Project would be developed. It included

involvement in defining the Project and identifying those activities with the potential to cause

physical, biological, or socioeconomic impacts. Project planning, decision making, and

refinement of the Project description continued throughout the assessment process in view of

identified impacts and proposed mitigation measures. During the EIA process, there was

extensive communication between the impact assessment team and the Project design team

with regard to identifying alternatives, potential impacts, and mitigation measures.



4.5 Stakeholder Engagement

Stakeholder engagement has been conducted to support the development of the EIA and

associated ESMP. The objectives of the Project’s stakeholder engagement activities are to:







Promote the development of respectful and open relationships between stakeholders and

EEPGL during the Project life cycle;

Identify Project stakeholders and understand their interests and concerns in relation to

Project activities, and incorporate such interests and concerns into the EIA and ESMP

development processes, and, if appropriate, the Project design;



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Provide stakeholders with timely information about the Project, in ways that are

appropriate to their interests and needs, and also appropriate to the level of expected risks

and potential adverse impacts;

Satisfy regulatory and EEPGL expectations for stakeholder engagement; and

Record feedback and resolve any grievances that may arise from Project-related activities

through a formal feedback mechanism.



4.5.1 Stakeholder Engagement Plan

Project stakeholder engagement activities are guided by a Stakeholder Engagement Plan (SEP),

which describes:













Stakeholders identified for engagement;

A program of engagement and communications activities, and their frequency throughout

the Project life cycle;

A dedicated phone line and email address through which stakeholders can contact EEPGL

to voice concerns, provide information, or ask questions about the Project and its activities;

and

Mechanisms through which EEPGL will monitor and report on external engagement and

communications.



The SEP is a document that is updated periodically as the Project progresses to reflect new

information, changing conditions, and additional stakeholders.



4.5.2 Stakeholder Identification and Engagement Strategy

Project stakeholders have been identified through a combination of desktop research and incountry assessment and engagement. Stakeholder categories include, but are not limited to:

government officials; communities (including indigenous peoples); interest groups; nongovernmental organizations (NGOs); the private sector; media; academic and research

institutions; and professional, business, and worker associations.

Building on the stakeholder identification and mapping analysis, EEPGL’s stakeholder

engagement strategy identifies mechanisms and tools to facilitate stakeholder communications

and public information sharing. These tools are divided into two tiers that interact to facilitate

informed engagement. The first tier is information sharing, in which EEPGL provides

information about the Project to stakeholders to support their understanding of what is

proposed to occur. The second tier is consultation, in which EEPGL seeks to support open

dialogue and to receive stakeholder feedback, opinions, concerns, and knowledge regarding the

way the Project may interact with the natural and social environment. The objective of the

consultation is to ensure that EEPGL has identified key stakeholder issues and concerns.

EEPGL may disseminate information through print and online publications, media releases, as

well as presentations and open houses. The intent of these types of activities is to provide

information to a broad audience or group of stakeholders as efficiently as possible.

Consultation or dialogue activities involving a two-way flow or exchange of information

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between stakeholders and the Project may include one-on-one and small group meetings, public

meetings including a question and answer session, and feedback mechanisms such as a

dedicated email address (guyanastaff@exxonmobil.com) and phone line (+592 231 2866,

extension 12400). The intention of these activities is to allow for not only a two-way exchange of

information, but also a means for EEPGL to gather information concerning topics that are

important to its stakeholders. These activities also help ensure stakeholders’ comments and

opinions are heard and legitimate concerns can be addressed.



4.5.3 Stakeholder Engagement Process

Stakeholder engagement activities are an integral part of the Project lifecycle: from the initial

notification when the Project is proposed, to the scoping of potential impacts, to the EIA, and

throughout the life of the Project.

EEPGL has conducted a robust public consultation program to both inform the public about the

Project and understand community and stakeholder concerns so they could be incorporated

into the EIA. The different stages of the Project each require stakeholder engagement that is

tailored in terms of its objectives and intensity, as well as the forms of engagement used. The

various engagements completed and/or planned specific to the EIA stage are summarized

below.





















EEPGL has held many meetings and various workshops with the government and others on

offshore oil and gas exploration and development.

The submission of the Application was posted in the local newspaper on August 9, 2016, by

EPA (Figure 4-1) and was subject to a 28-day public comment period. There were no

comments received from the public in regards to the Application.

EEPGL and/or ERM have held meetings or key informant interviews with over 30 Guyana

government agencies/commissions, many elected officials and Regional Administrators,

over 15 professional or business associations, international and domestic non-governmental

organizations, several universities and research institutes, various religious and ethnic

organizations, and the media to inform stakeholders about the Project and to collect

information needed for the EIA. Although questionnaires were not used, these meetings are

documented in the SEP and inputs from these engagements were incorporated into the

existing conditions and impact assessment components of the EIA (Chapters 6 and 7,

respectively).

The Draft ToR was developed and published by the EPA on their website on September 8,

2016.

Sector Agency Scoping Meetings were held with EEPGL, the EPA, and other government

agencies on October 5 and 6, 2016, with over 150 attendees of which approximately 100 were

members of the general public, to discuss the Draft ToR, scope potential impacts, and

capture agency-level stakeholder feedback on the Draft ToR.

Public Scoping Meetings for the purpose of scoping potential impacts and capturing

stakeholder opinions from the general public on the Draft ToR were held in Regions 1

through 6 during October, November, and December 2016 with over 300 attendees, of which

over 200 were public participants (Figure 4-2).



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Following the public scoping meetings, the EPA required the submittal of an updated

Project Summary, which EEPGL submitted on January 13, 2017, that was followed by an

additional 28-day public comment period.

The EPA approved the TOR for the Project on Feburary 17, 2017.

Several select stakeholders were consulted following acceptance of the TOR, including:

 50 business community stakeholders at the Marriott hotel in Georgetown on February

20, 2017;

 the Guyana Oil and Gas Association on February 21, 2017; and

Once the EIA was submitted to the EPA on February 27, 2017, the EPA administered a 60day public comment period, during which the public was invited to submit comments to the

EPA on the EIA.

During the 60-day public comment period, EEPGL held a number of small group and

individual

meetings

with

various

stakeholders

including

government

agencies/commissions and NGOs, Regional Administrators, and academic and

ethnic/religious institutions. The purpose of these meetings was to provide an overview of

the EIA results and answer questions relating to the EIA process and results.

During the 60-day public comment period, EEPGL also held public meetings in Regions 1

and 6. The meetings included an overview presentation of the EIA results, and provided the

public the opportunity to pose questions about the EIA and the Project.



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Figure 4-1



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Chapter 4

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Environmental Application Invitation for Public Comment



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Figure 4-2 Sample Draft Terms of Reference Invitation for Public Comment - Regions 2 and 3



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Once the EIA process is complete, and assuming EEPGL obtains environmental authorization

and other approvals from EPA, GGMC, and EAB, the Project will, subject to a final investment

decision, transition into execution. Plans for stakeholder engagement during Project execution

are described in the SEP, and engagement activities will be adjusted to reflect evolving Project

status and activity level, as well as stakeholder concerns over the life of the Project. During

Project execution, the emphasis of engagement shifts from input gathering to disclosure about

planned activities as well as consultation (including receipt of feedback) on ongoing and

planned activities. EEPGL will keep the public informed about the general progress of the

Project (e.g., completion of Project stages such as well drilling) and will respond to any

grievances (e.g., specific concerns) filed under the Project’s Grievance Procedure, which is

described in the SEP. The Grievance Procedure will be in place throughout the life of the

Project.



4.5.4 Stakeholder Comments and Considerations

This section summarizes the key comments and suggestions received from stakeholders during

the EIA consultation processes to date and how these comments have been considered and

addressed in the EIA (Table 4-1).

During the Project’s EIA scoping phase, the EPA led a series of eight scoping meetings (two

meetings attended by agency representatives, and one public meeting each in Regions 1-6).

These meetings served to inform stakeholders about, and receive feedback on, the EIA Terms of

Reference (ToR) which were also made available on the EPA website throughout the scoping

phase. The public was also made aware that comments could be submitted directly to the EPA

during the 28-day public comment period of the scoping phase.

A total of 163 comments were received from public stakeholders over the course of the scoping

phase. Some were raised in person at the scoping meetings, while others were submitted via

comment boxes at the meetings, or by letter to the EPA. The largest number of comments (58)

pertained to the EIA approach, process and/or methodology, including questions about the EIA

timeline, the company conducting the EIA, delineation of the Area of Influence (AOI), data

collected for the EIA, stakeholder engagement efforts over the course of the EIA process, and

content of the ESMP. There were also numerous questions and comments (37) about potential

impacts of the Project, including impacts to marine life and other biological resources, fishing

livelihoods, air quality, indigenous lands, and potential for accidents. A total of 40 comments

pertained to the Project Description, including the project location, life of the project, processes

for waste management, use of produced gas, and measures to prevent and address oil spills. A

total of 19 comments were received about possible socioeconomic benefits of the Project,

including employment, government revenues, and local content. Seven comments were

received regarding the EPA’s role and capacity in the EIA process, and three questions were

received about the administrative framework regulating oil and gas development in Guyana.

Table 4-1 below summarizes key themes raised by stakeholders during the EIA scoping phase,

and indicates how these have been considered in the EIA.



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Table 4-1



Chapter 4

Methodology Preparing for the Environmental Impact Assessment



Themes in Scoping Comments Received and Consideration in EIA



Key Theme

Differences between Phase 1 and Phase 2,

types of SURF and FPSO equipment and

methods, gas re-injection

EIA methodology, hierarchy, data collection

techniques, types of surveys and studies,

limitations, predictive analysis, and

considerations for mitigation

Oil spill response (OSR) capabilities,

protection measures, vessel information,

response capacity (e.g., trained responders,

equipment), notifications, liability

Area of Influence (AOI) determinations

Timing for public comment period, cut-off

dates, and how comments are incorporated

into the EIA



Credentials and experience of the company

developing the EIA.

Subcontractor management and

monitoring, logistical support

requirements, and onshore shorebases



Consideration in EIA

Phase 2 has not been defined. Any future phases would

be addressed through a separate permitting process. A

Project Description is provided in Chapter 2.

The methodology for the EIA including existing

condition data collection, assessment, and mitigation

analysis is discussed in Chapter 4.

OSR planning is discussed in Chapter 7.

Potential impacts as a result of an unplanned event,

such as an oil spill, are assessed in Section 7.4.

A separate Oil Spill Response Plan for the Project is

being developed.

The AOI for the Project is described in Chapter 5.

Details related to the EIA process and the

administrative frameworks are discussed in Chapter 3.

Details related to the public comment period and how

stakeholder feedback is incorporated into the EIA are

discussed here in Section 4.5.

A brief description of ERM and its experience

conducting EIAs for offshore oil and gas projects is

presented in Section 1.0 of the EIA. Curriculum vitae for

the key EIA team members are provided in Appendix B

of the EIA.

Details related to subcontractors and logistical support

are described in Chapter 2.



Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA)

details, current and previous stakeholder

engagement information



Decommissioning information is presented in Chapter

2.

An alternatives analysis is included in Section 2.

Further details pertaining to Air Quality, Climate

Change, and the impact on receptors is discussed in

Chapter 7.

The SEA that was submitted to EPA in March 2014 and

includes previous stakeholder information can be found

on the EPA website.



Role of Marine Mammal Observers



Information pertaining to marine mammal data

collection can be found in Chapter 6.



Decommissioning

Alternatives analysis, particularly as it

pertains to Air Quality



Potential socioeconomic benefits of the

Project including employment and

government revenue.

Potential adverse impacts on livelihoods

and economy, including fishing livelihoods.



May 2017



Socioeconomic benefits of the Project are discussed

generally in Section 7.3.2 and Section 7.3.3 of the EIA.

Opportunities for local employment and procurement

are currently under study; details will be elaborated in a

Project-specific local content plan.

Potential adverse impacts to employment, livelihoods

and economy are discussed in Section 7.3.2, Section

7.3.3. and Section 7.4.4.



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Key Theme



Consideration in EIA



Management and use of produced gas



A description of the gas production rate, and its

management and use by the Project are described in

Section 2.5 of the EIA.



Use and disposal of hazardous substances



A list of chemicals that the Project intends to use is

provided in Section 2.10.1 of the EIA. Management of

wastes including hazardous waste is provided in

Section 2.10.4.



Emissions and their impacts



An estimated annual emissions summary is provided in

Section 2.10.2 of the EIA, while assessments of Project

emissions on ambient air quality and climate are

provided in Section 7.1.1.



Waste streams and their management and

discharge



Descriptions of the Project vessels’ discharges, and

management/disposal systems and practices are

provided in Sections 2.10.3 and 2.10.4.



Possible effects on coastal resources

including mangroves and artisanal fisheries



Assessment of impacts to coastal resources is provided

in Section 7.2.1, Section 7.2.2, Section 7.2.3, Section 7.4.3

and Section 7.4.4 of the EIA.



Possible effects on marine life



An assessment of impacts to biological receptors,

including marine wildlife, can be found in Section 7.2

and Section 7.4.3 of the EIA.



Possible effects on fishing livelihoods



Assessment of impacts to fishing livelihoods can be

found in Section 7.3.3 and Section 7.4.4.



Impacts to indigenous people, lands and

resources



A discussion of indigenous people and resources and

their potential to be affected by the Project is provided

in Section 7.3.10 and Section 7.4.4.8.



Oil spill potential impacts and impacted

locations



Oil spill modeling results, and assessment of potential

impacts of an oil spill are discussed in Section 7.4 of the

EIA.



Potential for social changes such as

trafficking, prostitution, drug trade etc.



Potential impacts to community safety are assessed in

Section 7.3.4 of the EIA.



Principles and content of the Environmental

and Social Management Plan (ESMP)



The guiding principles and an overview of general

structure and content of the ESMP are discussed in

Chapter 9 of the EIA.



Type of anchor mooring on offshore vessels



The type of anchor mooring or other positioning

mechanism to be utilized by Project vessels is discussed

in Section 2.



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Some questions were raised during the scoping meetings that were outside the scope of an EIA

(e.g., the potential for an oil refinery in Guyana) and/or are confidential, such as the details of

EEPGL’s agreement with the Government of Guyana, and are therefore not discussed in Table

4-1.

During the Project’s 60-day public comment period, EEPGL conducted a series of individual

and small group meetings, as well as two public consultations (one in in Region 1 and one in

Region 6). The stakeholders that were engaged during this period include:





Environmental Protection Agency







Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs







Ministry of Natural Resources







National Trust of Guyana







Maritime Administration Department







Conservation International Guyana







Civil Defense Commission







World Wildlife Fund Guyana











Guyana Marine Conservation Society







Ministry of Agriculture, Department of

Fisheries

Guyana Geology and Mines Commission







University of Guyana







Ministry of Health







Guyana Hindu Dharmic Sabha







Region 2 Administration







Region 1 (public consultation)







Ministry of Communities







Region 6 (public consultation)



Stakeholder comments were documented over the course of these engagement events.

Comments and questions related to a range of topics including potential impacts on fishing

livelihoods, potential impacts to marine biodiversity, potential impacts on air emissions and

how these were assessed, financial responsibility in the event of an oil spill, application of the

mitigation hierarchy, Project employment opportunities and other socioeconomic benefits, and

the Project’s stakeholder engagement process. EEPGL compiled comments received over the

course of the 60-day public comment period that could necessitate changes to the EIA and

ESMP. In addition, the EPA received written comments from stakeholders during the public

comment period which were forwarded to EEPGL. Upon conclusion of the public comment

period, EEPGL thoroughly considered all comments received and updated the EIA and ESMP

as relevant and appropriate.



4.6 Assessment of Impacts and Identification of Mitigation

The primary purpose of an EIA is to predict the potential impacts resulting from a proposed

Project and to identify and evaluate the efficacy of measures to avoid, reduce, or remedy these

impacts. ERM uses a standard impact assessment methodology for evaluating the impacts and



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significance of projects around the world – the ERM Impact Assessment Standard. This

methodology takes into consideration both the magnitude of an impact and the

sensitivity/vulnerability/importance of the resource/receptor to determine the significance of

the impact (see Table 4-2), which is described in more detail below.

Table 4-2



Evaluation of Impact Significance



Impacts can be “direct”, “indirect”, or “induced”, as defined below:











Direct – Impacts that result from a direct interaction between the Project and a

resource/receptor (e.g., disturbance of a benthic community habitat on the seafloor);

Indirect – Impacts that follow indirectly from the direct interactions between the Project and

its environment as a result of subsequent interactions within the environment (e.g., impacts

to marine fish who feed off a directly impacted benthic community); and

Induced – Impacts that result from other activities (that are not part of the Project) that

happen as a consequence of the Project (e.g., influx of job seekers).



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The assessment of impacts proceeded through an iterative four-step process, as illustrated in

Figure 4-3.

Figure 4-3



Impact Prediction and Evaluation Process



Step 1: Predict Impacts

The EIA evaluates potential Project impacts by predicting and quantifying to the extent possible

the

magnitude

of

those

impacts

on

resources/receptors

and

the

sensitivity/vulnerability/importance of the impacted resources/receptors.

“Magnitude” is a function of the following impact characteristics:















Type of impact (i.e., direct, indirect, induced; avoidable or unavoidable)

Nature of the change (what is impacted and how; positive or negative);

Size, scale, or intensity;

Geographical extent and distribution (e.g., local, regional, national, international);

Duration and/or frequency (e.g., temporary, short term, long term, permanent); and

Reversibility (reversible or irreversible).



Magnitude therefore describes the change that is predicted to occur in the resource / receptor

(e.g., the area and duration over which air or groundwater may become polluted, the level of

increase in concentration, the degree and probability of impact on the health or livelihood of a

local community). The magnitude of impacts are predicted and evaluated using a variety of

different methods appropriate to the resources/receptors potentially impacted by the Project.

For example, models are used to evaluate potential impacts on physical resources (e.g., water

quality, oil spill, air dispersion, and underwater sound models). Table 5-1 provides additional

information on the analytical methods used in assessing impacts for resources/receptors.

The magnitude of an impact takes into account all the various dimensions of a particular impact

in order to make a determination as to where the impact falls on the spectrum (in the case of

adverse impacts) including Negligible, Small, Medium, and Large. Some impacts can result in

changes to the environment that may be immeasurable, undetectable, or within the range of

normal natural variation. Such changes can be regarded as essentially having little or no impact,

and are thus characterized as having a Negligible magnitude. Other impacts may result in

changes that are substantial and/or extremely widespread, and these are characterized as

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having a Large magnitude. In the case of positive impacts, this EIA does not attempt to

characterize magnitude. In determining the magnitude of impacts on resources / receptors,

embedded controls are taken into consideration. For example, the assessed magnitude of

impacts on seawater quality from proposed produced water discharge considers the efficacy of

produced water treatment measures that are part of the Project design.

The “sensitivity/vulnerability/importance” of the impacted resource/receptor is characterized

by considering the nature of the resource/receptor as well as other factors including legal

protection, government policy, stakeholder views, and economic value. The definitions for Low,

Medium, and High sensitivity/vulnerability/importance designations will vary on a

resource/receptor basis.

Step 2: Evaluate Impacts

For routine aspects of the Project, the significance for each impact was assigned based on the

evaluations of the magnitude of the impact and the sensitivity/vulnerability/importance of the

resource/receptor using the matrix shown in Table 4-2 above. This matrix applies to all

resources/receptors. The assignment of a significance rating enables decision-makers and

stakeholders to understand key potential Project impacts.

The following considerations are provided to clarify what the various significance designations

represent.





















An impact of Negligible significance is one where a resource/receptor will not be impacted

by a particular activity, or the predicted impact is deemed to be imperceptible or is

indistinguishable from natural background variations, or small magnitude impacts are

predicted only to low sensitivity receptors.

An impact of Minor significance is one where a resource/receptor will experience a

noticeable impact, but the impact magnitude is Small or Medium and/or the

resource/receptor is, respectively, of Medium or Low sensitivity/vulnerability/ importance.

An impact of Moderate significance has an impact magnitude that falls somewhere in the

range from a threshold above which the impact is Minor, up to a level that might be just

short of being considered Major.

An impact of Major significance is one where the impact magnitude is Medium or Large for a

resource/receptor of High sensitivity/vulnerability/importance (or Large magnitude for a

Medium sensitivity/vulnerability/importance resource/receptor).

An impact of Positive significance is one that has been identified as having a positive impact

on the receptor/resource. This EIA does not attempt to characterize magnitude for positive

impacts.



The specific criteria used to evaluate significance of impacts for each resource/receptor are

presented in Chapter 7.

Non-routine/unplanned events related to the Project (e.g., oil spills, traffic accidents, or other

events with a low probability of occurrence do not lend themselves readily to the analysis

described above. For these types of events, understanding the significance of the risk requires

understanding of the:

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Consequence (potential) of the event if it were to occur; and

Likelihood of the event occurring.



As such, for these unplanned events, a Risk Table (Table 4-3) based on event consequence and

likelihood is used to assess the significance of impacts associated with the events.

Table 4-3



Evaluation of Risk



“Consequence/severity” takes into consideration the magnitude, as defined for Step 1, of the

potential impact if the unplanned event were to occur.

“Likelihood” reflects the probability of occurrence and is defined as follows:









Unlikely—considered a rare event, and there is a small likelihood that an event could occur;

Possible—the event has a reasonable chance to occur at some time during normal operating

conditions; and

Likely—the event is expected to occur during the life of the facility.



Likelihood is estimated on the basis of experience and/or evidence that such an outcome has

previously occurred. It is important to note that likelihood is a measure of the degree to which

the unplanned event is expected to occur, not the degree to which an impact is expected to

occur as a result of the unplanned event. The latter concept is referred to as uncertainty, and this

is typically dealt with in a contextual discussion in the impact assessment, rather than in the

impact significance assignment process.

Step 3: Mitigation and Enhancement

The next step in the process for this EIA is the identification of measures that can be taken to

mitigate, as far as reasonably practicable, the identified potential impacts of the Project.

A mitigation hierarchy is used where preference is always given to avoid the impact before

considering other types of mitigation. The preferred hierarchy of measures followed in this EIA

is:









Avoid—remove the source of the impact by employing alternative designs or operations to

avoid risks related to environmental and socioeconomic impacts;

Reduce—lessen the probability and/or consequence of impacts that cannot be avoided

(e.g., reduce the size of the project footprint); and

Remedy—if significant impacts cannot be avoided or reduced, then “repair” the

consequences of the impact after it has occurred through rehabilitation, reclamation,

restoration, compensation, and/or offsets.



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Management measures are generally not developed for potential adverse impacts that are

assessed as Negligible. Practicable measures, as available, are adopted for higher levels of impact

significance.

Step 4: Determine and Manage Residual Impacts

The final step in the iterative impact evaluation process for this EIA is the determination of

“residual impacts” (i.e., impacts that are predicted to remain after both embedded controls and

committed mitigation measures have been taken into consideration). This typically involves

pursuing elements of Step 1 and Step 2 to re-evaluate the magnitude and then the significance

of the potential impact now considering the implementation of proposed mitigation measures.

If significant residual impacts remain, efforts aligned with Step 3 are made to identify

additional or alternative cost-effective and practicable mitigation measures.









The management emphasis for Moderate and Major impacts is on reducing the impact to a

level that is as low as reasonably practicable. This does not necessarily mean, for example,

that impacts of Moderate significance have to be reduced to Minor, but rather that impacts

are being managed effectively and efficiently.

Although a goal of an impact assessment is to eliminate Major residual impacts through

impact avoidance or other measures, for some resources/receptors, there may be Major

residual impacts after all practicable mitigation options have been exhausted. Decisionmakers must weigh such negative factors against the positive ones, such as employment, in

reaching a decision on the Project.



4.7 Mitigation, Management, and Monitoring

In support of the EIA process, ERM and EEPGL developed a Project ESMP (as summarized in

Chapter 9) that includes:









Management measures identified in the impact assessment;

Summary of how the measures will be implemented; and

Monitoring strategy to evaluate the effectiveness of the management measures.



The management strategy uses an adaptive approach during the Project life cycle to ensure that

recommended management measures are implemented as planned and produce the desired

outcomes. This adaptive approach provides the Project, in consultation with the EPA and other

stakeholders, the opportunity to:









Address unanticipated adverse impacts that are encountered through the addition of new

management measures (following the avoid/reduce/remedy hierarchy);

Adjust or replace existing management measures when appropriate during the Project life

cycle to address evolving impacts; and

Retire existing management measures when no longer demonstrating value.



EEPGL recognizes that demonstrating capacity to manage non-routine, unplanned events, such

as oil spills, is an important and integral component of the impact management process. As

such, the ESMP includes an Oil Spill Response Plan (OSRP) to address the possibility of nonroutine, unplanned events.

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Chapter 5

Scope of the EIA



5.0 SCOPE OF THE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT

The scope of the EIA includes all Phase 1 Project stages (i.e., development drilling, installation,

hook-up/commissioning, production operations, and decommissioning) as described in

Chapter 2 and planned activities listed in Section 5.2. The EIA also addresses non-routine,

unplanned events (e.g., spills and releases). This EIA builds on the previous Strategic

Environmental Assessment prepared for EEPGL’s original Exploration Drilling in the Stabroek

Petroleum Prospecting License Area (March 2014), and the Environmental Management Plan

prepared for EEPGL’s Liza Field Multiwell Exploration Program (February 2016). The collection

of additional data and completion of further analyses, however, were required to evaluate the

potential environmental and socioeconomic impacts of all stages of the Project, which are

addressed in this EIA.



5.1 The Area of Influence

The area potentially impacted by a project is referred to as its Area of Influence (AOI). For

purposes of this impact assessment, the Project AOI was divided into a direct and an indirect

AOI, as described below:

 Direct AOI, within which the Project is expected to have direct impacts (Figure 5-1). This

area includes: (1) the PDA (i.e., the Liza Phase 1 area including the subsea wells, SURF

equipment, and the FPSO); (2) the marine transit corridors between the PDA and shorebased activity centers in Guyana and Trinidad; and (3) the city of Georgetown; and

 Indirect AOI, within which the Project is expected to have indirect impacts (Figure 5-2). This

area includes: (1) coastal areas and marine waters within the territorial boundary of Guyana

that could potentially be impacted by an unplanned event (i.e., an oil spill; see Section 7.4

for more details on oil spill modeling) and (2) coastal Regions 1 to 6 who could be impacted

to a greater extent by the Project than the other regions because of their subsistence and

commercial marine fisheries (e.g., potential impacts on fish and marine transport) and

increased exposure to Project socioeconomic impacts. Although all 10 regions of Guyana

would potentially benefit from the shared government revenue stream from the Project, the

Indirect AOI does not include the entire country because the extent to which any specific

region could benefit from the revenues is dependent on the government’s policies rather

than on EEPGL’s activities as assessed in this EIA.

As described in Section 8, cumulative impacts on environmental and socioeconomic resources

could potentially result from incremental impacts of the Project, when combined with other

past, present, and reasonably foreseeable future projects/developments within the AOI. The

geographic area of concern for the cumulative impacts analysis is generally consistent with the

Project AOI.



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Figure 5-1



Chapter 5

Scope of the EIA



Direct Area of Influence



* NOTE: Map does not represent a depiction of the maritime boundary lines of Guyana.



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Figure 5-2



Chapter 5

Scope of the EIA



Indirect Area of Influence



* NOTE: Map does not represent a depiction of the maritime boundary lines of Guyana.



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5.2 Project Interactions with Environmental and Socioeconomic Receptors

In order to define the scope of the environmental and socioeconomic impact analysis, it is

necessary to identify the potential interactions between the Project and the resources/receptors

within the AOI. These interactions are the mechanisms that could trigger Project-related

impacts on resources/receptors.

Each of the Project activities and potential unplanned events listed below has the potential to

interact with existing resources/receptors in the AOI, which could potentially create

environmental or socioeconomic impacts.





Development Drilling Stage:

o Drill ship and drilling operations

 Power generation

 Drill cuttings discharges

 Drilling fluids discharges

 Wastewater discharges

 Offshore waste treatment and disposal including incineration

o VSP

o ROV operations

o Onshore waste management, recycling, treatment, and disposal







Installation of FPSO/SURF Components Stage:

o Marine installation vessels and FPSO

 Power generation

 Install mooring system (e.g., driven or suction piles for FPSO and select SURF

equipment)

 Discharge of hydrostatic test water, hydrate inhibitor, ballast water

 Wastewater discharges

 Limited waste incineration

o ROV operations and installation of SURF equipment

o Hook-up and commissioning of FPSO and SURF equipment

o Onshore waste management, recycling, treatment, and disposal







Production Operations Stage:

o FPSO Vessel Operations

 Power and heat generation

 Non-routine, temporary flaring

 Produced water discharges

 Brine discharges from sulfate removal and potable water processing

 Sanitary wastewater discharges

 Ballast water discharge (one time at mobilization)

 Non-hydrocarbon contact cooling water discharges

 Gas re-injection into reservoir

 Seawater intake



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o



o

o



Chapter 5

Scope of the EIA



 Seawater injection into reservoir

 Chemical use (topsides, subsea, downhole)

Oil Offloading to Conventional Tankers

 Tanker power generation

 Venting of cargo tanks during oil loading

 Seawater intake for ballast operations

 Tanker ballast water discharge on arrival

 Tanker domestic wastewater discharge

Offshore waste treatment and disposal including waste incineration

Onshore waste management, recycling, treatment, and disposal







Decommissioning Stage:

o Marine decommissioning vessels and FPSO

 Power generation

 Disconnection of mooring system and SURF equipment

 Wastewater discharges

 Limited waste incineration

o Onshore waste management, recycling, treatment, and disposal







Logistical Support (across all Project stages):

o Supply and support vessel/aircraft operations

o Onshore fuel transfers from suppliers

o Utilization of shorebases, including pipe yards and warehouses

o Onshore waste management, recycling, treatment, and disposal







Non-routine, Unplanned Events:

o Oil spill or release – FPSO/SURF production operations

o Oil spill or release – Well control event

o Other oil spills or releases

o Other unplanned events



5.3 Resources/Receptors Assessed in the EIA

One of the purposes of the scoping process is to identify which resources/receptors could

potentially be significantly impacted by the Project, and which resources/receptors would not

have the potential to be significantly impacted by the Project. Based on the Project Description

and understanding of existing conditions at the time of scoping, Table 5-1 lists those

resources/receptors that were identified as having the potential to be impacted by the Project,

subject to further assessment. These resources/receptors were retained for further consideration

in the EIA.



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Table 5-2 lists those resources/receptors that have been identified as unlikely to have the

potential to be impacted by the Project and the rationale for this determination. These

resources/receptors are excluded from further consideration in the EIA.



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Table 5-1



Chapter 5

Scope of the Environmental Impact Assessment



Summary of Resources/Receptors Retained for Further Consideration in EIA and Corresponding Potential Impacts, Primary Sources of Potential Impacts, and Analytical Approach



Resource or Receptor



Potential Impacts



Primary Sources of Potential Impacts



Analytical Approach



Air Quality and Climate



Air emissions resulting from the Project have the

potential to change ambient air quality in the Project

AOI on a localized basis. Air quality is important for

health of humans and wildlife.

Potential impact of greenhouse gas emissions from the

Project on climate change.

















To describe actual air quality conditions in the vicinity of the Project, ambient

air quality data were collected at the proposed Project site approximately 190

km (120 mi) offshore of Guyana, including measurements of particulate matter

(PM10), carbon monoxide (CO), sulfur dioxide (SO2), hydrogen sulfide (H2S),

nitrogen dioxide (NO2), and volatile organic compounds (VOC).

Measurements were taken onboard a research vessel.

Air emission inventories were prepared for these pollutants and a screening

level analysis was conducted to identify potential air quality impacts

associated with Project activities. Dispersion modeling was conducted to assess

potential impacts to ambient air quality. Potential impacts were described.

Estimated greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for the Project were calculated.



Sound



Auditory impacts on Project workers.



 Equipment/machinery operating onboard the FPSO or drill

ships





Managing occupational-related risks through appropriate PPE.



Marine Geology and Sediments



The Project will disturb marine geology and sediments

on a localized basis in the PDA and could impact

sediment quality from non-aqueous base fluid (NABF)

on drill cuttings discharges.



 Drilling of development wells

 Installation of FPSO and SURF components



Marine Water Quality



The Project could have localized impacts to marine

water quality in the PDA from discharge of drill

cuttings and from routine operational and

hydrotesting discharges. The Project could potentially

impact marine water quality in the Project AOI as a

result of non-routine, unplanned events.



















A fate and transport model (GIFT) was used to evaluate cuttings and drilling

fluid deposition surrounding the development wells. The physical differences

between the native seafloor and the accumulated drill cuttings, as well as the

distribution of residual NABF on drill cuttings, were described based on the

results of the modeling analysis.

A fate and transport model (GIFT) was used to evaluate total suspended solids

(TSS) concentrations resulting from discharge of drilling fluid and cuttings

based on global ocean currents data.

USEPA’s CORMIX model was used to simulate the mixing zone around the

drill ships and FPSO, and to support an analysis of impacts on marine water

quality from routine production operations discharges and one-time

hydrotesting discharges.

Oil spill modeling was used to estimate concentrations of dissolved

hydrocarbons that might result from different unplanned event scenarios



The Project is not expected to impact Protected Areas

during routine, planned operations and activities in

the Project AOI. The Project could potentially impact

Protected Areas in the Project AOI as a result of nonroutine, unplanned events.

The Project could potentially impact some special

status species (e.g., endangered or listed species) in a

localized manner in the PDA as a result of underwater

sound, light, seawater withdrawal, and changes in

marine water quality. The Project could potentially

impact special status species in the Project AOI as a

result of non-routine, unplanned events.



 Non-routine, unplanned event (e.g., spill or release)

 Underwater sound generated by marine component operations

and activities

 Lighting on offshore facilities (e.g., FPSO, drill ships)

 Seawater intake by FPSO

 Wastewater discharges

 Drilling of development wells (cuttings and fluid discharge)

 Cooling water discharges

 Produced water discharges

 Hydrotesting discharges

 Vessel movements



Physical Resources



Power generation

Other combustion sources

Non-routine, temporary flaring

Fugitive emissions from storage and loading

Waste incineration

Helicopter and aviation emissions



Drilling of development wells (cuttings and fluid discharge)

Cooling water discharges

Installation of FPSO and SURF components

Wastewater discharges

Produced water discharges

Hydrotesting discharges

Non-routine, unplanned event (e.g., spill or release)



Biological Resources



Protected Areas and Special

Status Species



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Oil spill modeling was used to simulate the trajectory of an oil spill and assess

the risk of oiling impacting any designated Protected Areas.

Consistent with the approach taken for marine mammals, turtles, and fish

without special status designation, the scientific literature was reviewed for

information on the impacts of planned offshore activities on special status

species, including marine turtles, fish, and marine mammals. Oil spill

modeling was used to assess potential spill-related impacts.

Underwater sound was modeled to assess potential auditory impacts

associated with marine activities.

USEPA’s CORMIX model was used to simulate the mixing zone around the

drill ships and FPSO, and to support an analysis of impacts on marine water

quality from routine operational discharges and one-time hydrotesting

discharges. The GIFT model was used to evaluate TSS concentrations resulting

from discharge of drilling fluid and cuttings based on global ocean currents.



EEPGL Environmental Impact Assessment

Liza Phase 1 Development Project



Resource or Receptor

Coastal Habitats



Coastal Wildlife and Shorebirds



Seabirds



Marine Mammals



Marine Turtles



Marine Fish



Marine Benthos



May 2017



Potential Impacts

The Project is not expected to impact beaches,

mangroves, or wetlands in the Project AOI during

routine, planned operations and activities. The Project

could potentially impact beaches, mangroves, and

wetland habitats in the Project AOI as a result of nonroutine, unplanned events.

The Project is not expected to impact coastal wildlife

or shorebirds during routine, planned operations and

activities in the Project AOI. The Project could

potentially impact coastal wildlife and shorebirds in

the Project AOI as a result of non-routine, unplanned

events.

The Project could potentially impact seabirds in a

localized manner in the PDA as a result of light (i.e.,

disorientation). The Project could potentially impact

seabirds in the Project AOI as a result of non-routine,

unplanned events.

The Project could potentially impact some marine

mammals in a localized manner in the Project AOI as a

result of underwater sound and ship strikes. The

Project could potentially impact marine mammals in

the Project AOI as a result of non-routine, unplanned

events.

The Project could potentially impact some marine

turtles in a localized manner in the Project AOI as a

result of underwater sound, ship strikes, and light. The

Project could potentially impact marine turtles in the

Project AOI as a result of non-routine, unplanned

events.

The Project could potentially impact some marine fish

as a result of underwater sound, light, seawater

withdrawal, and changes in marine water quality in

the PDA. The Project could potentially impact marine

fish in the Project AOI as a result of non-routine,

unplanned events.

The Project could potentially disturb some benthic

habitat and organisms in a localized manner in the

PDA.



Chapter 5

Scope of the Environmental Impact Assessment



Primary Sources of Potential Impacts

 Non-routine, unplanned event (e.g., spill or release)



Analytical Approach

Oil spill modeling was used to simulate the trajectory of an oil spill and assess

the risk of oiling beaches, mangroves, or wetlands.



 Non-routine, unplanned event (e.g., spill or release)



Oil spill modeling was used to simulate the trajectory of an oil spill and assess

the risk of impacting coastal wildlife and shorebirds.

















The scientific literature was reviewed for information on the impacts of

lighting from planned offshore activities on seabirds. Oil spill modeling was

used to assess potential spill-related impacts on seabirds.























Drill ship, FPSO, and support vessel operations

Lighting on offshore facilities (e.g., FPSO, drill ships)

Non-routine, temporary flaring

Waste incineration

Non-routine, unplanned event (e.g., spill or release)

Underwater sound generated by marine component operations

and activities

Ship strikes

Changes in forage availability

Lighting on offshore facilities (e.g., FPSO, drill ships)

Seawater intake by FPSO

Wastewater discharges

Drilling of development wells (cuttings and fluid discharge)

Cooling water discharges

Produced water discharges

Hydrotesting discharges



The scientific literature was reviewed for information on the impacts of

planned offshore activities on marine mammals, turtles and fish. Analyses

were performed based on expected marine mammal and turtle presence and

Project vessel transits to assess likelihood of vessel strikes. Oil spill modeling

was used to assess potential spill-related impacts. Underwater sound was

modeled to assess potential auditory impacts associated with marine activities.

USEPA’s CORMIX model was used to simulate the mixing zone around the

drill ships and FPSO, and to support an analysis of impacts on marine water

quality from routine operational discharges and one-time hydrotesting

discharges. A fate and transport model (GIFT) was used to evaluate total

suspended solids (TSS) concentrations resulting from discharge of drilling

fluid and cuttings based on global ocean currents. Oil spill modeling will be



 Non-routine, unplanned event (e.g., spill or release)



used to assess potential spill-related impacts on marine mammals, turtles,

and fish.



 Drilling of development wells (cuttings discharge and

deposition)

 Installation of FPSO (mooring structures) and SURF

components

 Non-routine, unplanned event (e.g., spill or release)



Fate and transport model (GIFT) was used to predict the extent and thickness

of cuttings discharged on the seafloor surrounding the development wells. The

physical differences between the native seafloor and the accumulated drill

cuttings, as well as the distribution of NABF containing cuttings and potential

for toxicity impacts, were described based on the results of the modeling

analysis.

Impacts from planned activities were evaluated in terms of the percentage of

benthic habitat impacted by disturbance.



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Resource or Receptor

Ecological Balance and

Ecosystems



Socioeconomic Resources

Economic Conditions



Employment and Livelihoods



Potential Impacts

The Project could have indirect impacts on ecological

functions in the Project AOI, particularly if special

status species or trophic relationships are disturbed.



Primary Sources of Potential Impacts

 Underwater sound generated by marine component operations

and activities

 Lighting on offshore facilities (e.g., FPSO, drill ships)

 Seawater intake by FPSO

 Installation of FPSO and SURF components

 Installation-related disturbances to seafloor

 Wastewater discharges

 Ballast water discharges

 Waste incineration

 Non-routine, unplanned event (e.g., spill or release)



Analytical Approach

The scientific literature was reviewed to determine the ecological relationships

between major marine taxonomic groups. Oil spill modeling was used to

assess potential spill-related impacts on marine organisms.



The Project is generally anticipated to have a positive

impact on the economy of Guyana as a result of

government revenue sharing from the Project, as well

as employment and local procurement opportunities.

Potential adverse impacts may include potential

shorter term increases in the cost of living as a result of

increased demand for specific goods and services.

Potential adverse impacts to income from agriculture

and fisheries could also occur as a result of nonroutine, unplanned events.

The Project is expected to build capacity in the local

labor force, increase demand for skilled labor, and

increase demand for service industries (beneficial

impact). There is also the potential for limited adverse

impacts to fishing activities as a result of marine safety

exclusion zones or marine traffic, and non-routine,

unplanned events.













Government revenue sharing from Project

Local Project purchases of select materials, goods, and services

Limited local Project employment (direct and indirect)

Increased spending on select materials, goods, and services

(indirect multiplier impacts for local/regional population)



Government reports were reviewed and key informant interviews were

conducted to identify key economic drivers in the national, regional, and local

economies and determine the likely Project-related impacts on these economic

factors. A particular emphasis was placed on industrial sectors that are

important to coastal communities.



 Local employment for:

o Drill ships

o Installation vessels

o FPSO topside equipment and operations

o Marine support and supply vessels

o Tankers

o Tugs and support vessels

o Aviation operations

 Marine safety exclusion zones

 Project-related marine traffic

 Drilling; FPSO/SURF installation, hookup and commissioning;

and FPSO and support vessel operations (aspects relating to

occupational health and safety for Project workforce)

 Non-routine, unplanned event (e.g., spill or release)

 Increased traffic as a result of Project activities at the Guyana

shorebase locations

 Social interaction between Project workers and residents

 Pressure on wages from introduction of foreign workers and

increased competition for skilled labor

 Noise and light near shore by Project marine and aviation

operations

 Non-routine, unplanned event (e.g., spill or release)

 Marine vessel operations



Project workforce projections and types of labor requirements were assessed

against data obtained through key informant interviews on the existing service

industry within Guyana. The potential for adverse impacts to fishing activities

was assessed by taking into consideration the distance from shore at which

different fishery types typically operate, in comparison to the locations and

durations of Project-related marine activity and marine safety exclusion zones.

Potential occupational hazards to Project workforce working onshore and

offshore were assessed.



Community Health and

Wellbeing



Most Project activities will be located offshore in the

PDA and would have no direct impacts on

communities in Guyana. Introduction of limited levels

of foreign labor could potentially have health and

socioeconomic impacts. The Project could potentially

impact community health and wellbeing in the Project

AOI due to onshore traffic, social interaction, or as a

result of non-routine, unplanned events.



Marine Use and Transportation



The Project may result in increased marine shipping

and general marine-related traffic, which could

potentially contribute to marine vessel congestion in

port areas.



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111



Potential risks to safety and health of local communities posed by shorebase

operations were assessed. Key informant interviews were conducted to

characterize existing road, marine, and air traffic safety conditions, as well as

coastal agriculture, aquaculture, and offshore/coastal fishing activities. Oil

spill modeling was used to simulate the trajectory of an oil spill and to assess

potential spill-related impacts on community health and wellbeing.



Key informant interviews were conducted to characterize communities

dependent on marine transportation for livelihoods (e.g., speedboat operators

and fisherpersons), and to characterize existing marine vessel and safety

conditions in the Project’s AOI.



EEPGL Environmental Impact Assessment

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Resource or Receptor

Social Infrastructure and

Services



Cultural Heritage



Land Use



Potential Impacts

The Project will use public infrastructure and services

and thus could potentially compete with other existing

businesses and consumers across a range of services

(e.g., roads, medical and emergency response,

accommodation, and utilities). The Project may result

in increased vehicular traffic in Georgetown, which

could potentially contribute to vehicular congestion in

certain areas.

The Project has the potential to adversely impact

cultural heritage through localized disturbance of

archaeological or historical sites related to Project

development. These resources have conservation,

cultural, and other values to stakeholders. The Project

could potentially impact cultural heritage in the

Project AOI as a result of non-routine, unplanned

events.

No new Project-dedicated land disturbance is planned.

There is the potential that third-party onshore facilities

may elect to expand or impact adjacent land as a result

of supporting Project-related needs; however, these

impacts are outside the scope of this EIA.



Ecosystem Services



Project-related impacts on natural resources could lead

to shorter term direct or indirect impacts on the

services and/or values derived from natural resources

and ecosystems in the AOI.



Indigenous Peoples



The Project is not expected to directly cause any

changes to population and demographics in

indigenous communities. The Project could potentially

impact indigenous peoples in the Project AOI as a

result of non-routine, unplanned events.



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Chapter 5

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Primary Sources of Potential Impacts

 Project demand requirements for selected infrastructure and

services which could overburden existing capacity and supply

 Shorebase operations

 Ground transportation operations



Analytical Approach

Key informant interviews and review of government reports were conducted

to assess existing demand on public infrastructure, transportation networks,

vehicular traffic, and public services and to determine the impact (access and

safety) that any additional demand on these resources would have on

impacted communities.



 Drilling of development wells

 Installation of FPSO and SURF components

 Non-routine, unplanned event (e.g., spill or release)



AUV and other geophysical surveys were conducted to map seabed objects in

the PDA.

Oil spill modeling was used to simulate the trajectory of an oil spill and to

assess the potential for a release from an unplanned event to contact terrestrial

archaeological sites.

















Land use in the area surrounding onshore facilities planned for Project use was

reviewed and assessed with respect to the potential for significance of land use

changes as a result of the Project.



Shorebase operations

Pipe yards

Warehouses

Bulk fuel storage and transfer facilities

Onshore waste recycling, treatment and disposal facilities

Direct or indirect impacts derived from one or more of the

impacts on physical, biological, or socioeconomic resources

described above



 Non-routine, unplanned event (e.g., spill or release)



112



The use of natural resources by local communities, including indigenous

communities, was examined to identify specific dependencies on resources

that could be impacted by the Project. Where dependencies on natural

resources that would be impacted were identified, the direct and indirect

impacts of Project activities on local communities’ access to and use of

impacted resources was assessed.

Coastal communities, including indigenous communities, in the Project AOI

were mapped. Key informant interviews were conducted to characterize

socioeconomic conditions in communities, and their reliance on natural

resources. Oil spill modeling was used to simulate the trajectory of an oil spill

and to assess the potential for oil to contact lands and natural resources of

coastal communities.



EEPGL Environmental Impact Assessment

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Table 5-2



Resources and Receptors Excluded from Further Consideration in the EIA



Resource/Receptor

Coastal (Onshore) Resources

Onshore geology/soils

Topography/Landscape

Groundwater quality

Terrestrial vegetation



Freshwater habitats

Marine Resources

Aquatic plants

Physical Resources

Natural hazards



Vibration and radiation



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Chapter 5

Scope of the Environmental Impact Assessment



Rationale for Excluding

The Project will not result in any onshore disturbance to geology

and soils.

The Project will not require any excavation, fill, or other land-based

activities that could change topography or landscapes.

The Project will not require any changes in land use that could

impact ground water quantity or quality.

The Project will not require any clearing or disturbance of terrestrial

vegetation. Even in the case of an unplanned event such as a spill,

only estuarine vegetation (e.g., mangroves) would be expected to

be potentially impacted. Terrestrial vegetation should be unaffected

by a spill event.

The Project is offshore with no new onshore disturbance, so will not

have any impact on freshwater habitats.

The marine aspects of the Project will occur in an area that is too

deep to support vascular marine plants.

The Project is not located within an area that is known to have a

high level of seismic activity or susceptibility to other natural

hazard with the potential to affect Project facilities.

The Project will not generate any vibration or radiation that would

be expected to impact resources/receptors. See Section 2.10



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6.0 DESCRIPTION OF THE EXISTING ENVIRONMENT

6.1 Physical Resources

6.1.1 Air Quality and Climate

This section describes the existing air quality conditions and climate in the Project AOI. Air

quality in a geographic area is determined by the presence of background concentrations due to

natural and distant sources, the type and amount of pollutants emitted locally into the

atmosphere, the topography of the area, and the weather and climate conditions. The levels of

pollutants and pollutant concentrations in the atmosphere are typically expressed in units of

ppm, parts per billion (ppb), or micrograms per cubic meter (µg/m3), averaged over various

periods of time.



6.1.1.1 Methodology

Climate: Information on meteorological conditions in coastal Guyana was obtained from

publicly available sources and technical literature. Parameters discussed include rainfall,

offshore wind direction, air temperature, and relative humidity.

To develop more specific information regarding the conditions in the PDA, EEPGL and ERM

have deployed oceanographic moorings in the PDA to collect information on existing

oceanographic and meteorological conditions in the area to support design development. The

meteorological moorings are equipped with a Datawell Direction Wavescan Buoy, which

measures wave and atmospheric conditions. With respect to atmospheric conditions, the

instrument measures and logs:















wind direction/speed (two anemometers record 10-minute average wind speeds and gusts),

air temperature,

atmospheric pressure,

solar radiation,

precipitation, and

relative humidity.



Air Quality: Since the PDA is located approximately 190 km (~120 miles) offshore in the Atlantic

Ocean and far removed from any anthropogenic sources of emissions other than intermittent

marine traffic, ambient air quality is determined primarily by regional influences rather than by

local emission sources or topographic influences. ERM has conducted offshore air monitoring,

including the collection of air samples, to analyze existing ambient concentrations of relevant

air quality pollutants in the PDA; the samples were collected from onboard a research vessel

within the Stabroek Block and PDA. The pollutants collected include inhalable particulate

matter (i.e., that fraction with aerodynamic diameter of less than 10 micrometers,“PM10”),

carbon monoxide (CO), sulfur dioxide (SO2), hydrogen sulfide (H2S), nitrogen dioxide (NO2),

and volatile organic compounds (VOC).



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6.1.1.1 Regional or National Setting/Context

Climate: Guyana has a wet tropical climate characterized by two pronounced wet seasons and

year-round warm temperatures.

The bimodal wet/dry regime is caused by the annual migration of the Inter-Tropical

Convergence Zone (ITCZ), which changes latitude based on the Earth’s position and angle in

relation to the sun. Northward movement of the ITCZ occurs as energy from the sun is

strongest in the Northern Hemisphere during the Northern Hemisphere’s summer, thereby

increasing solar heating in that hemisphere. The relative changes in solar heating slightly shift

the atmosphere primary circulation cells, which cause the area of trade wind convergence

closest to the Equator to migrate seasonally. In the areas closest to the ITCZ, one can expect

increased thunderstorm activity and heavy rainfall between mid-April and the end of July, with

peak rainfall in June. This period is known in Guyana as the primary wet season. The secondary

wet season occurs during the southward migration of the ITCZ from mid-November to the end

of January, with peak rainfall in December. The intervening periods (January to April and midAugust to mid-November) are relatively dry, but rain can occur at any time of the year.

Average annual rainfall totals range between 70 inches and 110 inches (~180 cm to ~280 cm,

Hydromet, 2014). During El Niño years, Guyana’s long dry season is often drier and warmer

than normal, and La Niña years bring wetter and cooler conditions than normal during the long

wet season (McSweeney et al., 2010).

Although the ITCZ moves seasonally, it is generally located between 5 degrees (°) North and 5°

South latitude. North and south of the ITCZ, atmospheric circulation and the Coriolis effect

create global wind patterns including the Northern Hemisphere’s trade winds and westerlies

(NOAA, 2008). Guyana’s coastal zone is located approximately between 6° and 8° latitude, and

the Stabroek Block is located between 7° and 8° latitude, both within the southern portion of the

area impacted by the trade winds. The influence of the trade winds produces a strongly

dominant northeast wind offshore of Guyana, which gives rise to the afternoon “sea breeze”

that usually blows inland across coastal Guyana from the ocean.

Annual average temperatures in coastal Guyana are relatively constant, with an annual average

daytime maximum temperature of 29.6 degrees Celsius (°C) (85.3 degrees Fahrenheit [°F]) and

an annual average night time minimum temperature of 24.0 °C (75.2°F). The average daily

temperature is approximately 27 °C (81°F). Relative humidity is high at 80 percent or more year

round in the coastal zone.

Air Quality: For purposes of this EIA, relevant literature was used to identify appropriate ranges

of concentrations to represent existing conditions. Based on the estimated Project emissions

profile, the principal relevant air pollutants of interest are PM2.5 and NO2. Yale University (2016)

published a report that ranked Guyana 6th (from the best) out of 180 countries in air quality. As

part of this study, Yale University (2015) published an online mapping tool, which estimates

that the average concentration of PM2.5 in onshore Guyana is 2.5 µg/m3. No values were found

in the literature for onshore air quality existing conditions for NO2.



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6.1.1.2 Existing Conditions in Area of Influence

Climate: In general, climate conditions within the Project AOI should be similar to those

described above for Guyana. The results of the ERM’s offshore monitoring effort to further

characterize climate conditions within the PDA have been incorporated into Appendix L of the

EIA.

Air Quality: The PDA is well offshore and far removed from any existing stationary

anthropogenic sources of airborne pollution. In addition, the prevalent wind direction is from

the northeast (open ocean); therefore, ambient air quality within the PDA is expected to be

good. This assumption was confirmed by the results of a 20-day ambient air quality

measurement program conducted aboard the Research Vessel Proteus. Those measurements

found that air pollutant levels were generally below detection levels, with the exception of

PM10. Chemical analysis of particulate matter samples found that the most of the collected mass

was composed of sodium chloride—the most likely source of which is sea salt.



6.1.2 Sound

This section includes a summary of the desktop review of existing underwater sound conditions

in the Project AOI. It also describes the different metrics commonly used to represent

underwater acoustic fields. A description of the modeling study used to predict underwater

sound levels associated with Project activities in the PDA is discussed in Section 7.2.5, Marine

Mammals.

This analysis is limited to underwater sound because the Project is located approximately 190

km (~120 mi) offshore from Georgetown, so airborne sound and ground-borne vibration from

offshore Project activities will not impact onshore community or public receptors in Guyana.

Offshore, the principal airborne sound receptors of potential concern will be the Project

workforce on the Project vessels, who will be provided with appropriate Personal Protective

Equipment (PPE), including ear protection (when engineered controls must be augmented to

manage sound exposure). The Project will not measurably impact any airborne sound or

ground-borne vibration at the onshore shorebase, pipe yards, and warehouse locations.

Therefore, airborne sound and ground-borne vibration are not discussed further in this section.



6.1.2.1 Underwater Acoustic Metrics

Underwater sound amplitude is measured in decibels (dB) relative to a fixed reference pressure

(p0 = 1 micro Pascal (μPa)) or reference energy level (1 µPa2●s). Three common descriptors are

the:









peak Sound Pressure Level (peak SPL, measured in dB re: 1 µPa),

Root Mean Square SPL (RMS SPL, measured in dB re: 1 µPa), and

Sound Exposure Level (SEL, measured in dB re: 1 µPa2●s).



The peak SPL metric is the maximum instantaneous SPL in a stated frequency band attained by

an acoustic event. The peak metric is commonly quoted for impulsive sounds, but does not



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account for the duration or bandwidth of the sound. At higher intensities, the peak SPL can be a

valid criterion for assessing whether a sound is potentially injurious or may cause behavioral

implications to a marine receptor.

The RMS SPL is a measure of the average pressure or the effective pressure over the duration of

an acoustic event, such as the emission of one acoustic pulse from a seismic source (e.g., vertical

seismic profiler). This level is the root mean square pressure level of the pulse.

The SEL is a measure of the total acoustic energy contained in one or more acoustic events and

is often used as an indication of the energy dose over a specific event or time. The SEL metric

measures the sound energy to which an organism at that location would be exposed.

Sound loudness is a subjective term describing the strength of the ear's perception of a sound. It

is a complex interaction between the sound pressure level and the hearing ability of an

individual receptor for that sound (how well the sound can be detected). Because the loudness

of impulsive sound is not generally proportional to the instantaneous acoustic pressure, the

peak SPL is a poor indicator of perceived loudness. As such, several other sound level metrics

such as RMS SPL and SEL are commonly used to evaluate the loudness of impulsive sound and

its impacts on marine life.

More information on the underwater acoustic metrics described above, including the analytical

formulation of these metrics, is provided in the document Underwater Sound Associated with Liza

Phase 1 Project Activities, prepared by JASCO Applied Sciences in December 2016 (JASCO, 2016).



6.1.2.2 Methodology

Ambient underwater sound levels were based on literature values for coastal Guyana. Research

has indicated that with the exception of localized or short term events that may cause acute

exposure (e.g., passage of a single ship, intense rain events, or whale vocalizations) underwater

sound levels do not vary much in the open ocean. Human activities are minimal in the PDA

(principally related to commercial fishing and other ocean going vessels). Therefore, the use of

literature values from coastal Guyana should be a reasonable representation of underwater

sound conditions in the PDA.



6.1.2.3 Regional or National Setting/Context

Ambient underwater sound levels can serve as existing conditions from which to measure

potential disturbance impacts associated with Project activities. Sound in the ocean is the result

of both natural and anthropogenic sources. Examples of notable sound levels produced by

natural sources include snapping shrimp (peak SPL of individual snaps vary from 183 to 189 dB

re 1 μPa at 1 m, with a typical peak spectrum between 2 and 5 kHz and energy extending to 200

kHz), waves breaking at 50 Hz due to sea surface agitation (61 to 76 dB re 1 μPa/√𝐻𝑧

depending on the sea state), and waves breaking at 25 kHz due to sea surface agitation (32 to 47

dB re 1 μPa/√𝐻𝑧 depending on the sea state) (Hildebrand 2009). Examples of notable sound

levels produced by human or mechanical sources include cargo vessels at 16 knots (173 m

length; 192 dB RMS re 1 μPa at 1 m with typical spectrum between 40 and 100 Hz), small boat



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outboard engine at 20 knots (160 dB RMS re 1 μPa at 1 m with typical spectrum between 1000

and 5000 Hz), seismic array (260 dB RMS re 1 μPa at 1 m with typical spectrum between 5 and

300 Hz), and sub-bottom profiler (230 dB RMS re 1 μPa at 1 m with typical spectrum between

3000 and 7000 Hz) (Hildebrand 2009).



6.1.2.4 Existing Conditions in Project Development Area

Guyana’s entire continental shelf and slope, including the Stabroek Block, are influenced by the

Guiana Current, which transports warm, turbid water north from the mouth of the Amazon

River across the coast of northern South America. There are currently no notable sources of

mechanical or human-generated background sound in the PDA, other than sporadic instances

of commercial vessels and other ocean going vessels. Considering the natural sources such as

the Guiana Current and other features of the PDA (e.g., depth, distance from shoreline), existing

underwater sounds in the PDA are not expected to exceed 120 dBrms.



6.1.3 Marine Geology and Sediments

6.1.3.1 Coastal Geology

Guyana’s continental shelf occupies an area of 18,790 mi2. The average width of the continental

shelf is approximately 113 km (~70 mi) (NDS, 1997). The shelf is widest near the borders of

Suriname and Venezuela, and slightly narrower near the center. Guyana’s coastline is

approximately 431 km (~268 mi) long (NDS, 1997). The Guyana Coast is a sedimentary plain

that has formed from successive deposits of sediment with a series of coastal ridges crossing the

coast from east to west. These ridges are connected with submarine features that move across

the shallow continental shelf in a northward direction driven by the nearshore current.



6.1.3.2 Marine Stratigraphy

The Guyana basin has been described as a passive margin basin associated with the rifting and

opening of the Equatorial Atlantic Ocean. Part of the Guyana Basin is onshore, but most of it

occurs offshore. Table 6-1 summarizes the age and composition of the major geologic

formations (listed in descending order from ground surface) that comprise the Guyana Basin

(Workman, 2000; CGX, 2009).

Table 6-1



Major Geologic Formations of the Guyana Basin



Formation

Corentyne

Pomeroon

Georgetown

New Amsterdam

Canje

Potoco Formation

Stabroek Formation



May 2017



Age

Pleistocene-Pliocene

Miocene-Eocene

Maastrichtian

Lower Tertiary to

Maastrichtian

Santonian to Turonian

Aptian

Cretaceous–Barremian



Composition

Sandstone and shale

Carbonate sandstone and shale

Sandstone, shale and carbonate

Sandstone and shale

Organic shale, non-organic shale, and sandstone

Carbonates

Basal shales and sandstones of continental origin



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Formation

Precambrian Basement



Chapter 6

Existing Environment



Age

Proterozoic-Hadean



Composition

Metamorphic rock



6.1.3.3 Marine Sedimentology

Fine clay and mud sediment are transported from the mouth of the Amazon River and are

deposited approximately 21 to 60 km (13 to 37 mi) offshore to an average thickness of

approximately 20 m (~65 ft) along Guyana’s continental shelf (CGX Resources, 2009). Moving

further out to sea (i.e., toward the edge of the continental shelf), sand gradually becomes the

dominant sediment layer. The bathymetric profile of the continental shelf forms a generally

smooth, gradual slope from nearshore to shelf edge, but a series of low mud ridges or

mudbanks are located approximately 21 to 60 km (13 to 37 mi) offshore (Figure 6-1).

Figure 6-1



Typical Distribution of Mudbanks and Mangroves on Guyana’s Coast



Source: Institutional Capacity Building Activities on Guyana Sea Defenses, 2005.



Although the Essequibo and several other smaller rivers (e.g., the Demerara, Corentyne, and

Berbice Rivers) discharge large quantities of fine sediment, which are subsequently transported

seaward and westward across the continental shelf, analysis of the humic content, nutrient

composition, and ratio of surface area to mass of Guyanese marine sediments indicates that they

are nearly identical to Amazonian sediments and unlike continental Guyanese sediments

(Eisma and van der Marel, 1971). This evidence strongly indicates that from a sedimentary

perspective, the Guyanese continental shelf functions as a marine extension of the Amazonian

delta system. At greater depths, calcarenite (coral fragment) substrates become more prevalent

(Strømme and Sætersdal, 1989). The Stabroek Block occupies the transition area between the

Amazonian-influenced zone and the older, deeper calcarenite zones.

In the PDA, the foundation zone of the seabed sediments comprises a hemipelagic drape of very

soft to soft clay irregularly interbedded with interpreted coarse-grain-prone turbidites. The mud

content of the sediments averaged 60.8 percent and the sand content averaged 39.1 percent

across the 2016 survey area. The surficial layer is underlain by a regional Mass Transport



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Complex (MTC) consisting of a heterogeneous clay-prone matrix material with intact blocks.

The thickness of the surficial soft clay varies across the PDA from approximately 4.5 m (~ 15 ft)

to 41 m (135 ft). These features could influence the design or siting of certain subsea

components that will rest on the seafloor, although they do not present structural or operational

hazards to the Project (Fugro 2016).



6.1.3.4 Sediment Quality

Sediment samples were collected from the Stabroek Block offshore Guyana as part of two

environmental baseline surveys (EBS). The surveys were conducted prior to EEPGL exploration

drilling activities in April and May of 2014 (Maxon Consulting, Inc. and TDI Brooks

International, Inc., 2014) and during later EEPGL exploration drilling activities in March of 2016

(FUGRO EMU Limited, 2016). Sediment samples were collected from 10 sampling stations as

part of the 2014 survey and from 25 sampling stations as part of the 2016 survey (these locations

are collective referred to as the Study Area in this section); the stations include locations within

the PDA as well as locations outside the PDA, but within the southeastern portion of the

Stabroek Block. A discussion of the results from both surveys is provided below. Summaries of

the results for metals and hydrocarbon concentrations in the sampled sediments are presented

in Table 6-2 and Table 6-3, respectively.

Table 6-2



Summary Results for Sediment Metals, Reported in µg g-1 dry weight

Effects

Range

Low2



Effects

Range

Median3



-8.2



-70



0.102



-1.2



-9.6



35



81



370



16.5



14.3



34



270



25,300



30,890

17



-46.7



-218



0.062



0.056



0.15



0.71



14.1



32.3



18.6



20.9



51.6



23.5



18.1



28.3



53



45.5



26.9



63.7



52



-150



-410



-8.2



-70



Mean



Minimum



Maximum



Mean

Background1



11,495



8,100



15,000



77,440



6.1



4.5



11.4



2



Barium



98.9



57.4



159



668



Cadmium



0.125



0.102



0.165



Chromium



14.9



8.6



21.1



Copper



13.1



9.9



Iron



19,130



13,500



Lead



11.6



8.3



15.6



Mercury



0.042



0.026



Nickel



21.4



Vanadium

Zinc



Parameter

2014 Liza EBS (n=10)

Aluminum

Arsenic



2016 Liza EBS (n=25)

Aluminum



43,432



13,900



66,600



77,440



Arsenic



11.6



6.1



97.1



2



Barium



175



44



272



668



Cadmium



0.120



0.073



0.255



0.102



-1.2



-9.6



Chromium



36.1



14.5



53.4



35



81



370



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Parameter

Copper



Mean



Chapter 6

Existing Environment



Minimum



Maximum



Mean

Background1



Effects

Range

Low2

34



Effects

Range

Median3

270



-0.15



-0.71



20.2



6.9



30.5



14.3



Iron



30,364



12,100



98,100



30,890



Mercury



0.029



0.016



0.042



0.056



Selenium



0.22



0.05



0.75



0.083



Lead



15.5



9.9



27.5



17



-46.7



-218



Nickel



27.0



10.8



51.5



18.6



20.9



51.6



Zinc



69.7



32.5



101.0



52



150



410



N/A – Not applicable (background level not available)

Note: One half of the detection limit was used for non-detect results in all statistical calculations

1 Mean concentration in upper continental crust (Wedepohl, 1995).

2 NOAA Effects Range Low (Ecotox, 1996)

3 NOAA Effects Range Median (Ecotox, 1996)



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Table 6-3



Chapter 6

Existing Environment



Summary Results for Sediment Hydrocarbons



Parameter



Mean



Minimum



Maximum



Background1



10.64



8



14



N/A



6.97



3



12



N/A



3.68



2



8.9



N/A



2014 Liza EBS (n=10)

Total Saturated Hydrocarbon (SHC) (µg g-1)

Total Unresolved SHC (µg

Total Resolved SHC (µg



g-1)



g-1)



CPI (Carbon Preference Index)



1.97



1.47



3.27



N/A



Pristane (µg



g-1)



0.007



0.004



0.012



N/A



Phytane (µg



g-1)



0.005



0.003



0.010



N/A



Pristane/Phytane Ratio



1.34



0.67



1.8



N/A



nC16/(nC15+nC17)



0.40



0.24



0.51



N/A



0.03861



0.02458



0.05336



N/A



3.36



2.14



4.65



N/A



2.8



1.5



4.8



0.2-5



Total PAH (µg g-1)

Petrogenic/Pyrogenic

2016 Liza EBS (n=25)

THC (µg g-1)

Unresolved Complex MixtureCM (µg

n-alkanes



CPI



g-1)



1.8



0.9



2.8



N/A



nC12-20 (µg



g-1)



0.06



0.02



0.13



N/A



nC21-36 (µg



g-1)



0.21



0.1



0.38



N/A



nC12-36 (µg g-1)



0.27



0.12



0.5



N/A



nC12-20



1.29



1.1



2.41



N/A



nC21-36



2.62



2.09



2.99



N/A



nC12-36



2.22



1.83



2.7



N/A



Pristane (µg



g-1)



0.002



0.001



0.013



N/A



Phytane (µg



g-1)



0.003



0.001



0.012



N/A



1.28



0.13



2.27



N/A



Pristane/Phytane Ratio

Total PAH (Sum of 2-6 Rings) (µg



g-1)



0.048



0.016



0.239



N/A



Sum of 2-3 Rings (NPD) (µg g-1)



0.016



0.006



0.082



N/A



Sum of 4-6 Rings (µg g-1)



0.032



0.010



0.157



N/A



NPD/4-6 Ring



0.54



0.35



0.82



N/A



PAH - Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons; NPD – Naphthalene, phenanthrene, anthracene, and dibenzothiophene

(2-ring and 3-ring PAHs); SHC - Saturated and aliphatic hydrocarbons; THC - Total hydrocarbons; UCM Unresolved complex mixture; CPI - Carbon preference index (the ratio of odd number carbon chain n-alkanes to even

numbered chain n-alkanes); Pr/Ph - Ratio of pristane to phytane

Petrogenic/Pyrogenic – Ratio of the sum of combustion-related PAHs (fluoranthene, pyrene, chrysene,

benzo(a)anthracene, benzo(b)fluoranthene, benzo(k)fluoranthene, benzo(a)pyrene, dibenzo(a,h)anthracene, and

benzo(g,h,i)perylene divided by the sum of petrogenic PAHs (naphthalene, acenaphthene, acenaphthalene, fluorene,

phenanthrene, dibenzothiophenes, chrysenes, and fluoranthenes/pyrenes.

2-6 Ring PAH - Total 2 to 6 ring polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons

nC12-20 – Alkanes ranging from carbon numbers 12 to 20

nC21-36 – Alkanes ranging from carbon numbers 21 to 36

nC12-36 – Alkanes ranging from carbon numbers 12 to 36

N/A – Not applicable (background level not available)

1 Typical THC levels (i.e. ‘background’) in sediments remote from anthropogenic activities (North Sea Task Force,

1993).



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6.1.3.5 2014 EBS Results (TDI Brooks International, Inc., 2014)

During the 2014 EBS, sediment samples were analyzed for the following parameters:









Total organic carbon (TOC)

Metals

Hydrocarbons



Total Organic Carbon

Concentrations of TOC were less than 1 percent at all survey stations. Higher concentrations of

TOC were found in the southwest portion of the survey area, which is closer to shore.

Metals

Twelve metals were measured to assess general patterns of distribution across the Study Area,

which was defined as the Liza Area of Interest for the purpose of the study, and what is now

considered the PDA. Of the 12 metals analyzed, 10 metals (i.e., arsenic, barium, cadmium,

chromium, copper, lead, mercury, nickel, vanadium, and zinc) were used as indicators of

anthropogenic sources; 2 metals (i.e., aluminum and iron) were used to provide geological

source information. All of the ten anthropogenic-indicator metals had concentrations similar to

those reported for the upper continental crust (Wedepohl, 1995), with the exception of arsenic,

which was slightly elevated (average of 4.51 µg g-1 compared to an upper continental crust

mean background concentration of 2 µg g-1). However, all average concentrations were at or

below the NOAA Effect Range Low (ERL) values.

Hydrocarbons

Hydrocarbons are divided into two classes of compounds: aliphatic compounds and aromatic

compounds. The hydrocarbon analysis consisted of the analysis of saturated and other aliphatic

hydrocarbons (SHC), including selected isoprenoids and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons

(PAHs).

Aliphatic Compounds: Aliphatic compounds can be “saturated” (alkanes with carbon atoms

joined by single bonds), or “unsaturated” (alkenes with carbons joined by double bonds). The

study measured concentrations of saturated hydrocarbons that encompass light and heavy

fractions of petroleum (i.e., alkanes nC9-nC40) and selected isoprenoids (branched chain

unsaturated hydrocarbons), including pristine and phytane. Concentrations of total SHC

ranged from 8 µg g-1 to 14 µg g-1. The unresolved portion of the SHC analysis (i.e., SHCs that

cannot be identified through the use of standard analytical methods) ranged from 3 µg g-1 to 12

µg g-1, with an average of 7.0 µg g-1, which makes up approximately 66 percent of the average

SHC concentration.

Several SHC-based parameters and ratios were used to distinguish between biogenic and

petroleum-derived sources. These parameters and ratios are listed below, along with a general

discussion of their relevance in determining the source of the hydrocarbons.



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Carbon Preference Index (CPI): The total odd-chain hydrocarbons divided by the total evenchain hydrocarbons. A value of 2 to 4 indicates input from plants. As petroleum is added,

the value decreases, approaching 1.

Pristane/Phytane Ratio: The source of phytane is mainly petroleum, whereas pristane is

derived from both biological matter and petroleum. In environmental samples with no

petroleum contribution, this ratio is greater than 1 and it decreases as petroleum is added.

Hexadecane (nC16)/(Pentadecane [nC15] + Heptadecane [nC17]) ratio: At “background”

levels, hydrocarbons nC15 and nC17 can be used as indicators of plankton hydrocarbon

inputs. As plankton productivity increases, this ratio decreases. If the ratio were to increase

over time or within the data set, the rationale would be that it is related to anthropogenic

sources. Hexadecane (nC16) is rarely found in biolipids (Thompson and Eglinton 1978);

paraffins of nC15, nC17, or nC19 have been found to be predominant in benthic algae (Clark

and Blumer 1967, Youngblood et al. 1971).



The results of the sediment samples exhibited a predominance of odd-carbon-number over

even-carbon-number n-alkanes, with an average CPI value of approximately 2, indicating

primarily biogenic sources of hydrocarbons. This could be expected given the volume of land

runoff from the Essequibo and Demerara rivers.

The average pristane/phytane ratio of 1.34 reflects a predominance of pristane over phytane in

the sediments, indicating a predominantly biogenic source of hydrocarbons.

The low ratio (less than 1) of nC16 over the sum of nC15 + nC17 for all samples indicates relatively

higher concentrations of plankton-related hydrocarbons, as compared to hydrocarbons from

anthropogenic sources.

PAHs: PAHs are composed of aromatic rings. PAHs analyzed included 20 parent (i.e.,

unalkylated) compounds and 23 alkylated homologues, consisting of two- to six-ring PAH

compounds. Concentrations of total PAHs (all 43 analytes) ranged from 0.02458 µg g-1 to 0.05336

µg g-1.

The sample distribution of individual PAHs provided information for a range of hydrocarbon

sources. The Petrogenic/Pyrogenic distribution ratio listed below is useful to distinguish

between petroleum-derived hydrocarbons and those derived from combustion of fossil fuels.

The ratio increases as inputs from petroleum increase.





Petrogenic/Pyrogenic Ratio – The ratio of the sum of petrogenic PAHs divided by the sum

of pyrogenic (i.e., combustion-related) PAHs, where:

o petrogenic PAHs include naphthalene, acenaphthene, acenaphthalene, fluorene,

phenanthrenes, and dibenzothiophenes, as well as the daughter compounds of the

chrysenes, and fluoranthenes/pyrenes, and

o pyrogenic PAHs include the parent compounds of fluoranthene, pyrene, and chrysene,

as well as benzo(a)anthracene, benzo(b)fluoranthene, benzo(k)fluoranthene,

benzo(a)pyrene, dibenzo(a,h)anthracene, and benzo(g,h,i)perylene.



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In general, sample distributions of PAHs were dominated by the low molecular weight PAHs naphthalenes and anthracene-phenanthrenes. The petrogenic/pyrogenic ratios of greater than 1

indicate hydrocarbons are from biogenic or natural material (potentially including petroleumderived) rather than combustion-related compounds. High concentrations of perylene relative

to other PAHs were also observed. Perylene is a biogenic compound linked to plant pigments

from terrestrial runoff and is not indicative of either petrogenic or pyrogenic sources (Fugro,

2016). Both total PAHs and total SHC exhibited strong positive correlations with TOC, further

supporting biogenic origins of the trace hydrocarbons.

Overall, the 2014 sediment hydrocarbon results indicate that biogenic or natural materials are

the primary source of the low-level hydrocarbons measured in the survey area. Biogenic

hydrocarbon sources most likely consist of terrestrial plant and humic material transported to

the survey area via river inputs.



6.1.3.6 2016 EBS Results (Fugro, 2016)

During the 2016 EBS, sediment samples were analyzed for the following parameters:









TOC

Metals

Hydrocarbons



TOC

Similar to the 2014 results, concentrations of TOC ranged from below the reporting limit to 1.1

percent. TOC concentrations were found to be higher at sampling locations with a greater

proportion of fine sediments, indicating a negative correlation between grain size and organic

content (logical given that smaller grain sizes have a greater surface area and thus more ability

to adsorb organic matter).

Metals

Twelve metals were measured to determine general patterns of distribution across the survey

area (i.e., Stabroek Block). Of the 12 metals analyzed, 10 metals (i.e., arsenic, barium, cadmium,

chromium, copper, lead, mercury, nickel, vanadium, and zinc) were used as indicators of

anthropogenic sources and 2 metals (i.e., aluminum and iron) were used to provide geological

source information. The maximum concentrations of the individual metals measured during the

2016 survey were consistently higher than those from the 2014 survey; this is possibly a result of

the different acids used by the 2014 and 2016 laboratories for extraction, or of greater variability

in the data set due to the significantly larger sample area covered by the 2016 investigation

compared to the 2014 investigation. Average concentrations of anthropogenic-indicator metals

arsenic and nickel exceeded the NOAA ERL values. While this may reflect the composition of

source material, there may be some contribution from terrestrial runoff contaminated from

mining or other industries, as carried to the Guyana basin via riverine inputs from Brazil and

the Guiana Shield.



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Hydrocarbons

The hydrocarbon analyses include measurements of total hydrocarbons (THC) and PAHs.

THC concentrations ranged from 1.5 µg g-1 to 4.8 µg g-1. THC showed positive correlations with

metals concentrations, with the exception of copper and arsenic, as well as with TOC

concentrations. The unresolved complex mixture (UCM, i.e., fraction of THC that cannot be

resolved/identified) concentrations ranged from 0.9 µg g-1 to 2.8 µg g-1, and the average was 1.8

µg g-1, which makes up 64 percent of the average THC concentration. Concentrations of alkanes

(nC12-36) ranged from 0.12 µg g-1 to 0.50 µg g-1. Levels of short chain alkanes (nC12-20) were

consistently lower than those of the long chain alkanes (nC21-36).

Several THC-based parameters and ratios were used to distinguish between biogenic and

petroleum-derived sources. The values of CPI for the total range of alkanes (nC12-36) ranged

from 1.83 µg g-1 to 2.27 µg g-1. These results display a predominance of odd-carbon-number over

even-carbon-number n-alkanes, with an average CPI value greater than 2, indicating primarily

biogenic sources of hydrocarbons. The average pristane/phytane ratio was 1.28, meaning a

predominance of pristane over phytane exists in the sediments, indicating the primary source of

the hydrocarbons is likely biological.

PAHs, a subset of total hydrocarbons, were analyzed. Concentrations of total PAHs ranged

from 0.016 µg g-1 to 0.239 µg g-1. The sample distribution of individual PAHs provided

information for a range of hydrocarbon sources. A distribution ratio is listed below as well as a

general discussion of its relevance in determining the source of the hydrocarbons.





Naphthalene, Phenanthrene, Anthracene, and Dibenzothiophene (NPD)/4 to 6 Ring Ratio –

The ratio of the sum of naphthalene, phenanthrene, anthracene, and dibenzothiophene

(petrogenic indicators) divided by the sum of 4 to 6-ring PAHs (pyrogenic indicators). This

ratio is useful to determine the relative contributions of pyrogenic and petrogenic

hydrocarbons in differentiating sources. The ratio increases as inputs from petroleum

increase.



In general, samples showed a predominance of 4 to 6 ring PAHs (i.e., NPD/4 to 6 ring ratios of

less than 1), indicating predominantly pyrogenic sources of hydrocarbons, as opposed to

petrogenic sources. However, high concentrations of perylene (a biogenic compound linked to

plant pigments from terrestrial runoff and not indicative of either petrogenic or pyrogenic

sources) relative to other PAHs were also observed.

Overall, the 2016 sediment hydrocarbon results indicate that the low levels of hydrocarbons

measured in the Study Area could have derived from biogenic or natural materials as well as

combustion-related compounds. Biogenic hydrocarbon sources most likely consist of terrestrial

plant and humic material transported to the survey area via river inputs, while combustionrelated emissions could arise from multiple natural or anthropogenic sources.



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6.1.4 Oceanographic Conditions/Marine Water Quality

6.1.4.1 Oceanographic Conditions

Guyana’s marine environment is bounded, and heavily influenced, by the Orinoco and Amazon

rivers in Venezuela and Brazil, respectively. During the rainy season, Guyana’s coastal marine

waters receive large volumes of freshwater discharges from these major rivers, as well as from

Guyana’s own Essequibo, Demerara, and Berbice rivers (FAO, 2005).

Guyana’s surficial marine waters are crossed by the Guiana Current, which is part of the

northern limb of the North Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (MOC). The North

Atlantic MOC circulates water between the subtropics and polar region. The Guiana Current

derives from the North Brazil Current (NBC) flowing north along the northeastern coast of

South America from northern Brazil toward the southeastern Caribbean Sea. As it reaches

French Guiana, part of the NBC separates from the coast to join the North Equatorial Counter

Current (NECC), while the rest continues flowing northwest to form the Guiana Current. Figure

6-2 illustrates the proximity of the Guiana Current, NBC, and North Equatorial Counter Current

to the Stabroek Block.

Several times a year, the NBC turns back on itself to create closed circulation and form regions

of strong eddies (circular currents). These eddies can separate the NBC and NECC. These eddies

can travel northwest along the South American coast. The current magnitude within these

eddies can vary with depths significantly. These eddies may range from approximately 145 km

to 400 km (~90 to 250 mi) in diameter.

During springtime, the Guiana Current can extend as far as 300 nautical miles offshore to cover

Guyana’s entire continental shelf. Its highest velocities tend to occur along the edge of the

continental shelf (i.e., in Guyana just shoreward of the Stabroek Block). Fluctuations in the ITCZ

and the trade winds lead to significant variation in the strength of the Guiana Current and the

extent of its influence offshore, but maximum speeds generally occur in April to May, while

minimum speeds commonly occur in September (Gyory et al., 2013).

The Guiana Current primarily travels near the water surface while the deeper portion of the

water column in the Stabroek Block is strongly influenced by the North Atlantic Deep Western

Boundary Current, which is the southward limb of the North Atlantic MOC which returns

colder, denser water from polar regions to the subtropics at intermediate and deep levels.

In May 2014, EEPGL commissioned a Lowered Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler (LADCP)

survey of four stations along a transect located in the central portion of the Stabroek Block to

support design development. The profilers were placed at depths ranging from approximately

970 m to 1100 m. The survey indicated the presence of both the Guiana Current and the Deep

Western Boundary Current. Figure 6-3 shows vector stick plots from the four stations along the

LADCP transect. Figure 6-4 shows the locations of these LADCPs relative to the planned FPSO

location and the southern boundary of the Stabroek Block. The three deepest stations (1, 2, and

3) showed similar vertical current structure (i.e., a north-westward surface flow influenced by

the Guiana Current and a south-eastward deep flow due to the Deep Western Boundary



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Current). The shallowest station (Station 4) showed a similar layered structure, but the speed of

the north-westward surface current, however, was significantly greater at this station than at

the others (TDI-Brooks International, Inc., 2014).



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Figure 6-2



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Marine Currents in the Vicinity of the Project Development Area



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Figure 6-3



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Vector Stick Plot for Stations on the Stabroek LADCP Transect



Each “stick” (also called a vector) describes the direction, speed, and depth of a discrete

measurement. The length of the vector is directly proportional to its speed (a scale is provided

at the bottom of the plot). The depth of each measurement is provided on the y-axis. The

direction of the vector points in the compass direction of the current flow (north

corresponding to “up” on the plot). The horizontal distance between stations on the x-axis is to

scale.

Source: TDI-Brooks, 2014



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Figure 6-4



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LADCP Locations



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6.1.4.2 Marine Water Quality

The hydrographic and isohaline conditions in Guyana’s coastal marine waters are greatly

impacted by the outflow of the coastal rivers in the region, as described in Section 6.1.4.1. The

large amount of freshwater discharge impacts ocean salinity and temperature. Oceanic water is

relatively heavy, cold, and saline compared to the lighter, warm, and fresher water of the

Amazon and Orinoco plumes, which converge offshore of Guyana. These convergences form

oceanic fronts offshore of Guyana. Freshwater lenses generated by the Amazon and Orinoco

rivers are transported across Guyana’s continental shelf to points north and west. These lenses

persist for months and have been detected as far away as Barbados and Trinidad (Sherman and

Hempel, 2009).

Of the several coastal rivers that impact the marine environment offshore Guyana, the Amazon

River, with its average discharge of 180,000 m3/sec (Nittrouer and De Master, 1987), is the most

prominent factor in marine water quality in the region. Analysis of the Amazonian plume has

shown there is little seasonal variation in the plume’s nutrient content (e.g., silicates of 144

µmol.kg-1, phosphates of 0.7 µmol.kg-1, and nitrates of 16 µmol.kg-1) (De Master and Pope, 1996).

It has been estimated that 40 to 50 percent of the annual Amazon run-off transits along the coast

of the Guyanas.

The entire region offshore of Guyana is considered part of the North Brazil Shelf Large Marine

Ecosystem (LME). The ocean temperature in the North Brazil Shelf LME has alternately

warmed and cooled over the last few decades. A period of cooling lasted from the mid-1970s

through the mid-1990s, but since the mid-1990s the LME has consistently warmed (Sherman

and Hempel, 2009). Although the ocean temperature has alternately warmed and cooled in

recent decades, the net change in LME water temperature since 1957 equates to an average

increase of +0.22 ˚C over 50 years (Sherman and Hempel, 2009).

Water quality samples were collected from the Stabroek Block offshore Guyana as part of two

environmental survey efforts in 2014 and 2016. The 2014 samples were collected in April and

May of 2014 prior to exploration drilling activities (Maxon Consulting, Inc. and TDI Brooks

International, Inc., 2014).

The 2016 survey provided an additional detailed integrated site investigation covering 247 mi²

(~64,000 ha) of the offshore PDA (FUGRO EMU, 2016). This study enables ERM to have a multiyear database of water quality in the Stabroek Block, as well as the ability to analyze a greater

number of locations to further characterize the block. Sampling locations were chosen based on

current and future exploration and potential development activities.

In the 2016 study, water quality samples were collected at top, middle, and bottom depths and

analyses of the collected samples covered a range of physicochemical parameters. In addition,

conductivity, temperature, and depth (CTD) profiles (including dissolved oxygen, pH, and

turbidity measurements) were acquired and assessed through in situ monitoring of water

column profiles at 15 locations.



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Results from the 2016 vertical profiles show a stratified water column in terms of temperature,

salinity, and dissolved oxygen. The depths of the thermocline, halocline, and oxygen boundary

layer were observed to increase with the total depth of water. Dissolved oxygen concentrations

reach near saturation levels near the surface, but decrease with depth. The mean sea surface

temperature was 27.8 ºC, while bottom temperatures ranged between 2.7 ºC (deepest station)

and 11.2 ºC (shallowest station). Salinity ranged between 37.05 parts per thousand (ppt) to 36.60

ppt near the surface. In depths below the halocline, the salinity ranged between 33.63 ppt and

35.50 ppt. Mean pH values ranged between 8.18 and 8.47, increasing slightly with depth. Low

turbidity was measured throughout the water column, with values less than or equal to 2.9

formazine turbidity units (FTU).

The presence of organic carbon content in the water column was analyzed by measuring TOC in

discrete water samples. TOC decreased slightly with depth. TOC ranged between 0.9 mg/l and

3.9 mg/l at the surface and between 0.9 mg/l and 2.4 mg/l in the bottom depths.

Total suspended solids (TSS) concentrations were generally higher near the surface than at

depth. In the 2016 survey, values ranged from 2.4 mg/l to 18.3 mg/l near the surface and from

below the detection limit to 7.7 mg/l at the bottom depths.

In the 2014 survey, measured hydrocarbon concentrations were mostly below detection limits

(total SHC less than 13 µg/l to less than 13.5 µg/l). In the 2016 survey, whose protocols allowed

for lower detection limits, THC were detected at concentrations ranging from 8.3 µg/l to 35.9

µg/l in the bottom depths and 10.0 µg/l to 33.1 µg/l near the surface. Individual n-aliphatics

were also measured, from 12 carbons (n-dodecane) to 36 carbons (n-hexatriacontane). The sum

of all measured aliphatics in the 2016 survey ranged from 0.55 µg/l to 4.22 µg/l at the surface

and from 0.37 µg/l to 16.3 µg/l in the bottom depths.

In the 2014 survey, PAHs were reported to be below detection limits with the exception of

naphthalene as well as the C1 and C2 alkylated homologues of naphthalene, fluorene, and

phenanthrene, all of which are ubiquitous trace-level laboratory contaminants. In the 2016

survey, the sum of the PAHs with two to six benzene rings ranged from 0.051 µg/l to 0.109 µg/l

at the surface and 0.059 µg/l to 0.133 µg/l at the bottom depths. The sum of the 16 PAHs from

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (USEPA’s) priority pollutant list ranged from 0.006

µg/l to 0.021 µg/l.

Pristane to phytane ratios, indicative of the possible origin of hydrocarbons present, were close

to 1.0, suggesting an oxidizing depositional environment with the compounds likely derived

from chlorophyll (Moustafa and Morsi, 2012). Ratios below 1.0 would suggest the presence of

petroleum-based hydrocarbons.

In both the 2014 and 2016 surveys, measured metal concentrations in the collected water

samples were below USEPA Saltwater Quality Standards (USEPA, 2015). Table 6-4 provides the

minimum, mean, and maximum values for metals measured in 2014 and 2016, along with

USEPA’s criterion maximum concentrations (CMCs) and criterion continuous concentrations

(CCCs) for comparison. The CMCs and CCCs are the USEPA’s recommended highest

concentrations in saltwater that are not expected to pose a significant risk for acute and chronic



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impacts, respectively, to the majority of species in a given environment (USEPA, 2016). All

samples had concentrations within the natural range of the ocean water (Morel et al., 2006), well

below the CMCs and CCCs.

Table 6-4 EBS Water Column Heavy Metals Concentrations

Heavy Metals Concentrations (µg/l)

Arsenic



Barium



Cadmium



Chromium



Copper



Lead



Mercury



Zinc



Min



1.02



6.4



0.03



0.523



0.211



0.041



<0.0002



<4



Mean



1.43



7.5



0.043



0.656



0.144



0.000104



Max



1.77



9.2



0.064



0.778



0.385 1.68

3.68



0.625



0.000254



2.44 6.42

26.4



40



40



4.8



210



90



1.8



1.8



69



8.8



8.8



3.1



8.1



81



0.94



0.94



36



USEPA

CMC

USEPA

CCC



Source: Maxon Consulting, Inc. and TDI Brooks International, Inc., 2014; Fugro, 2016

Note: One half of the detection limit was used for non-detect results in all statistical calculations.



6.2



Biological Resources



6.2.1 Protected Areas and Special Status Species

Formerly, the EPA was Guyana’s focal point for the Convention of Biological Diversity, and the

agency coordinated the National Protected Areas System (EPA, Undated), which included five

protected areas.

In 2011, Guyana enacted Protected Areas legislation that established a Protected Areas

Commission to oversee and manage protected areas. This legislation established a list of

prohibited activities, including unlawfully entering or remaining within a protected area;

disturbing or destroying the vegetation (common or endangered); removing or exterminating

wildlife species (common or endangered); damaging archeological finds or sites; and mining. If

any prohibited activities occur, fines range from $50,000 to $500,000 (Guyanese dollars [GYD])

(Protected Areas Act, 2011). Guyana’s National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (2015)

states the overall importance of biodiversity’s role within the country:

Guyana’s biodiversity provides an important basis for climate regulation, poverty

reduction, provisioning of fresh water and hydropower, economic growth and

development in areas such as agriculture, forestry and fisheries, payment for forest

climate services, community based economies, particularly in hinterland communities

and biodiversity-related education, scientific research and recreation. Loss of biodiversity

and any disruption in the provision of ecosystem services would impact negatively on the

economy and more particularly on the quality of life in the hinterland and indigenous

communities. (GNBSAAP, 2015)



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The 2011 legislation also established Shell Beach and the Kanuku Mountains as Guyana’s

newest nationally Protected Areas. This increased the total number of Protected Areas in

Guyana to seven and increased the total land area protected to approximately 1.8 million

hectares or about nine percent of Guyana’s land area, as summarized in Table 6-5. Figure 6-5

illustrates the locations of Guyana’s Protected Areas. There are currently no designated marine

Protected Areas in Guyana.

Table 6-5



Protected Areas in Guyana



Protected Area

Kaieteur National Park

Iwokrama Forest

Kanashen (Community Owned Conservation Area)

Kanuku Mountains

Shell Beach Nature Reserve

Moraballi Forest Reserve

Mabura Hill Forest Reserve



Km2

630

3,710

6,250

6,110

2,000

110

20



Source: IUCN and UNEP-WCMC (2016)



Of the seven Protected Areas, Shell Beach Protected Area (SBPA) is the only one located on

Guyana’s coast, and so it is most pertinent to the impacts analysis of the Project. The SBPA

includes Guyana’s coastline but does not extend into the Atlantic Ocean; however, the ecology

of the coastal zone and Shell Beach are inextricably connected to the coastal marine ecosystem.

Figure 6-6 provides a detailed map of SBPA, the beaches it incorporates, and the surrounding

area. It is located in northwestern Guyana and extends for almost 140 km (~87 mi) between the

Waini, Baramani, and Moruka rivers, and the Atlantic Ocean. The PDA is located

approximately 300 km (187 mi) northeast of the southernmost (closest) point of Shell Beach.

Shell Beach, which derived its name from the fact that its entire stretch of coastline is comprised

mainly of mainly pulverized shells from crustaceans (RBAPSBPA, 2004), is a dynamic area. Its

landscape constantly changes due to the competing impacts of erosion and accretion along the

shoreline. The area is 70 percent forested; the rest is made up of mostly swamp (<30 percent)

and sandy beaches (<1 percent) (Kandaswamy, 2014). Shell Beach supports numerous plant

species, including coconut, papaya, and palm trees (GMTCS, 2011; Bovell, 2011).

The vegetative community has changed little in recent history apart from limited clearing to

accommodate a few dispersed encampments and farmsteads. The rivers bordering the

Protected Area discharge nutrients through the Protected Area’s mudflats and mangroves.

These high nutrient levels contribute to the productivity of the marine ecosystem. Fish, prawns,

and crabs from the nearshore marine area use the mangrove covered coastlines as nursery

habitat.



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Figure 6-5



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Figure 6-6



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Shell Beach Protected Area



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Shell Beach is best known as a sea turtle nesting site. The composition of the substrate at Shell

Beach, its geographical location, and the low anthropogenic activity makes it an ideal nesting

site for sea turtles. Most nesting beaches in Guyana are used by only one or two species of sea

turtles, but four species of sea turtles (Leatherback, Hawksbill, Olive Ridley, and Green Turtle)

nest at Shell Beach (Pritchard, 2001). In addition to sea turtles, there are also at least four other

species of turtles present within the Protected Area, including yellow-foot tortoise (Geochelone

denticulate), scorpion mud turtle (Kinosternon scorpioides), giant river turtle (Podocnemis expansa),

and mata mata (Chelus fimbriata).

The SPBA also supports rich bird, herpetofauna (reptiles and amphibians), and mammal

communities. The 2004 Rapid Biodiversity Assessment documented 170 species of birds, 20

species of mammals, and 31 species of herpetofauna. The 170 species of birds represent one of

the richest populations in Guyana and include well known species such as scarlet ibis

(Eudocimus ruber), roseate spoonbill (Platalea ajaja), and Caribbean Flamingo (Phoenicopterus

ruber), orange-winged Amazon parrots (Amazona amazonica) and several species of macaws.

Sixteen herpetofauna species (other than turtles) are known to inhabit the Shell Beach area.

These include the Ameiva lizard (Ameiva ameiva), whiptail lizard (Cnemidorphous lemniscatus),

water labaria (Helicops angulatus), cane toad (Bufo Marinus), paradoxical frog (Pseudis paradoxa),

and numerous tree frogs (Hyla spp.) (RBAPSBPA, 2004).

Twenty species of mammals, including howler monkeys (Alouatta spp.), jaguars (Panthera spp.),

and manatees (Trichechus sp.), are known to inhabit the Shell Beach area and surrounding

coastal region (Prince et al., 2004; Kalamandeen et al., 2005). Appendix G – Flora and Fauna

Diversity of Shell Beach, provides an extensive list of species within the area.

Resources within Protected Areas are a key factor in supporting local communities (see Chapter

7 for additional information). Areas within and near Shell Beach have been inhabited for 10,000

years by Amerindian groups from the Warao, Carib, and Arawak tribes (Charles et al., 2004).

Most of the current indigenous residents of the Shell Beach area are concentrated in a

community known as Almond Beach, near the northern end of the Protected Area. Other

communities included within the boundary of the Protected Area, as delineated in 2011, include

Father’s Beach and Assakata. The remainder of the Protected Area is sparsely populated, if at

all.

Indigenous communities have historically used the Shell Beach area for subsistence fishing,

crabbing, trapping, farming, logging, and palm harvesting. The important crab species that are

utilized by the locals include blue sheriga (Callinectes bocourti), sheriga (Portunas spinimamus),

bunderi (Cardiosoma guanhumi), and buck-crab (Ucides cordatus) (RBAPSBPA, 2004). They have

also historically engaged in sea turtle trapping and harvesting of sea turtle eggs. While these

activities have declined in recent years as emphasis on conservation and sustainability has

increased, illegal catching of turtles may still occur (Charles et al., 2004).

Increasing human activity in proximity to Shell Beach has led to increasing exploitation of

natural resources and has the potential to lead to additional ecological harm. In 1997, a fire

caused by human activity extensively damaged an area of mangroves (Pritchard, 2001).



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Throughout the past few decades, there have also been various industrial proposals for Shell

Beach. These include proposals to extract shell material from the beaches as feedstock for

fertilizer production and to develop a luxury tourist outpost (Charles et al., 2004). Amerindian

communities in the area have also expressed interest in developing ecotourism in the area

(Charles et al., 2004).



6.2.1.1 Special Status Species

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) maintains a Red List, which

provides taxonomic, conservation status, and distribution information on plants and animals

that have been globally evaluated to determine their relative risk of extinction (IUCN, 2014).

The IUCN categorizes species according to their risk at six status levels ranging from “Extinct”

to “Least Concern,” as defined in Table 6-7.

Table 6-7



Definitions of IUCN Red List Threatened Categories



IUCN Red List Status

Extinct (EX)



Critically Endangered (CR)



Endangered (EN)



Vulnerable (VU)



Near Threatened (NT)



Least Concern (LC)



Data Deficient



Definition

A taxon is Extinct when there is no reasonable doubt that the last

individual has died. A taxon is presumed Extinct when exhaustive

surveys in known and/or expected habitat, at appropriate times (diurnal,

seasonal, annual), and throughout its historical range have failed to

record an individual.

A taxon is Critically Endangered when the best available evidence (severe

population decline, very small population, very small geographic area

occupied, or a probability of extinction in the next 10 years of >50%)

indicates that it is facing an extremely high risk of extinction in the wild.

A taxon is Endangered when the best available evidence (large

population decline, small population, small geographic area occupied, or

a probability of extinction in the next 20 years of >20%) indicates that it is

facing a very high risk of extinction in the wild.

A taxon is Vulnerable when the best available evidence (substantial

population decline, small population, fairly small geographic area

occupied, or a probability of extinction in the next 100 years is >10%)

indicates that it is considered to be facing a high risk of extinction in the

wild.

A taxon is Near Threatened when it has been evaluated against the

criteria but does not qualify for Critically Endangered, Endangered, or

Vulnerable now, but is close to qualifying for or is likely to qualify for a

threatened category in the near future.

A taxon is Least Concern when it has been evaluated against the criteria

and does not qualify for Critically Endangered, Endangered, Vulnerable

or Near Threatened. Taxa that are widespread and abundant are included

in this category.

A taxon is Data Deficient when there is inadequate information to make a

direct or indirect assessment of its risk of extinction based on its

distribution and/or population status.



Source: IUCN 2001



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Species categorized as CR, EN, and VU are collectively considered to be internationally

“threatened,” while NT species are close to qualifying as “threatened“ and LC species are

considered internationally widespread and abundant. There are 296 species known to occur in

the coastal and marine habitats in Guyana on the IUCN Red List. Sixty-two of these marine and

coastal species have been ranked NT or higher. These species are listed in Appendix H.

According to the IUCN’s classification scheme, these species currently face a credible threat of

extinction.

Most of the threatened (CR, EN or VU) or NT species that could be impacted by the Project are

fish. They include highly migratory species such as species of tunas and sharks, bentho-pelagic

species including certain groupers, and demersal species including species of skates and rays.

As noted in Section 6.3.3.2, many of these fish species are also targeted by the Guyanese

commercial fishing industry. The remaining threatened or NT marine and coastal species in

Appendix H include sea turtles, marine mammals, and crustaceans.



6.2.2 Coastal Habitats

There are four ecoregions in Guyana (Figure 6-7): coastal plain, interior savannas, hilly sand

and clay, and forested highlands (GNBSAAP, 2015). The Project will have no impact on the

interior savannas, hilly sand and clay, and forested highlands, so this section focuses on habitats

of the coastal plain (note that the only potential impacts on the coastal plain are those associated

with unplanned events [i.e., oil spill]).

Guyana’s coastal plain occupies approximately 7 percent of the country’s total area and extends

along the entire approximately 400 km (~250 mi) of the Atlantic coast, varying in width from

approximately 16 km to 64 km (10 mi to 40 mi) (Kalamandeen and Da Silva, 2002) and in

elevation from sea level to approximately 3 m (~10 ft) (GNBSAAP, 2015). The coastal plain is a

narrow belt of sediments with riverine and marine clays and silts stretching along Guyana’s

coastline. The coastal zone is a highly productive and sensitive environment that is subjected to

marine and terrestrial influences. Guyana’s coastal ecoregion is a network of plains and low

hills, including mangroves, salt to brackish lagoons, brackish herbaceous swamps, swamp

woods, and swamp forests. The coastal zone contains some of the world’s most productive

ecosystems, with rich biological diversity (Kalamandeen and Da Silva, 2002). The swamps are

an important source of freshwater to mangroves and other flora and fauna (WWF, 2016).

Along the Guyana shoreline, the portion of the coastal plain with the most potential to be

impacted by an unplanned event associated with the Project, the principal habitats are

mangroves, beaches, and mudbanks, which are described below.



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Figure 6-7



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Guyana’s Ecoregions



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6.2.2.1 Mangroves

Mangroves are regarded as one of the most important ecosystems for the security of the

biodiversity of the entire Guyana coast, as they protect coastlines from wave action and

shoreline erosion (see Section 6.1.3). Figure 6-8 shows the general distribution of mangrove

resources along coastal Guyana; Figure 6-9 provides photographs of mangroves in Guyana. It is

difficult to ascertain the exact location and extent of mangrove forests in the country because

the mangroves are subject to erosion and other factors that can lead to rapid and dramatic

changes in distribution.

A 2008 Smithsonian report stated that mangroves occupied over 81,000 hectares of Guyana’s

coast in six of Guyana’s 10 geopolitical regions (Smithsonian, 2008). The Guyana Mangrove

Restoration Project estimates 75 percent of the country’s mangroves are concentrated in Regions

1 and 2 (GMRP Fact Sheet, 2010), which are located along the northwestern coast and include

SBPA.

Coastal mangroves have been identified by numerous national and international stakeholders

as vital to Guyana’s biodiversity, physical security, and economy (WWF, 2016; GMRP, 2010;

Ilieva, undated). In 2014, ERM conducted a coastal zone sensitivity analysis as part of the Oil

Spill Response (OSR) planning for the Liza-1 drilling program. The analysis included detailed

mapping of mangroves along Guyana’s coast from Georgetown west to the Venezuelan border.

Figure 6-8 is a composite of 10 individual map tiles showing the identified distribution of

mangroves (red-shading) across this portion of Guyana’s coastline as of 2013.

There are currently three species of mangrove in Guyana: red mangrove (Rhizophora mangle),

black mangrove (Avicennia germinans) and white mangrove (Laguncularia racemosa). Mangroves

in Guyana have a unique distribution pattern that is different from the norm in most other

countries. RGME (2014) noted that in Guyana black mangroves typically colonize the coastal

shorelines, and red mangroves establish themselves further inland along the rivers. There is

some overlap in the typical distribution of these species elsewhere, but in general the pattern in

other countries is for red mangroves to establish along the shoreline, black mangroves to

establish farther inland, and white mangroves to establish the farthest inland. Mangrove

ecosystems are known to be among the most productive ecosystems in the world (Mann, 1982),

serving major habitats while providing shelter and feeding sites for many faunal species

(Mestre, Krul and Moraes, 2007). Many invertebrate inhabitants of mangrove ecosystems in

Guyana live either on or in close proximity to mangrove roots and substrates and include snails,

barnacles, tunicates, mollusks, polychaete worms, oligochaete worms, shrimp, crabs, sponges,

jellyfish, amphipods, and isopods. These small organisms provide forage for birds, mammals,

reptiles, amphibians, and fish. Herons, egrets, and ibises are the most conspicuous group of bird

species found in mangroves due to the abundant food sources in a relatively safe habitat (Da

Silva, 2014).



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Figure 6-8



Guyana’s Mangrove Distribution (Georgetown west to Venezuelan Border)



Figure 6-9



Mangrove Photographs



Coastal Mangroves



Red Mangrove Forest



Source: ERM, 2016; Rapid Biodiversity Assessment of Shell Beach, 2004



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6.2.2.2 Beaches

Guyana has relatively few beaches, but the beaches that do occur are critically important

nesting habitats for sea turtles and providing habitat used by a variety of avian, herpetofauna,

and mammalian species (see Figure 6-6, for the locations of beaches in the SBPA).



6.2.2.3 Mudbanks

See Section 6.1.3 for the description of the physical attributes and location of Guyana’s

mudbanks, which generally refer to the submerged mud features below the low tide line (as

distinct from the intertidal mud “flats”. There has been no targeted biological surveys of

Guyana’ mud banks conducted to date, but coastal mud habitats typically support burrowing

invertebrates such as marine worms, mollusks, crustaceans, amphipods, and copepods. This

invertebrate community provides important forage for bottom-feeding fishes such as grunts,

catfishes, and snappers (particularly during their early life stages).



6.2.3 Coastal Wildlife and Shorebirds

Guyana occupies the west-central portion of the Guianan mangrove ecoregion, which extends

from southeastern Venezuela southeast to French Guiana between the Orinoco River Deltas and

the Oyapok River Delta in French Guiana. The ecoregion is a bio-geographical rather than

geopolitical region, and was designated as a distinct ecoregion by the World Wildlife Fund as

part of their Terrestrial Ecosystems of the World project (Olsen et al. 2001). Despite supporting

over 90% of the country’s human population, Guyana’s coastal region supports a diverse fauna.

This section briefly describes bird, mammal, reptile, and amphibian species that are

representative of Guyana’s coastal region.



6.2.3.1 Coastal Wildlife

Numerous mammal, reptile, and amphibian species occur in Guyana’s mangroves, agricultural

areas, and coastal forests. There are over 50 species of mammals present including opossums;

bats; primates such as capuchin monkeys (Cebus apella), squirrel monkeys (Saimira sciureus),

howler monkey (Alouatta seniculus) and Guianan saki (Pithecia pithecia); giant ant-eater

(Myrmecophaga triactyla); several species of cats including pumas (Panthera onca), puma (Puma

concolor), and ocelot (Leopardus pardalis); ungulates and rodents including the capybara

(Hydrochaeris hydrochaeris), paca (Agouti paca) red rumped agouti (Dasyprocta leporina); red and

grey brocket deer (Mazama sp.); and the giant river otter (Pteronura brasiliensis), which is a

freshwater species, and the neotropical otter (Lontra longicaudis), which is found in both

freshwater and estuarine habitats (WWF, undated). Other reptiles that frequent this ecoregion

are the green iguana (Iguana iguana), spectacled caiman (Caiman crocodilus) and anaconda

(Eunectes murinus). Amphibians are generally less common along the coast than in the interior

especially due to saline influence in the mangroves, but two species that are found along the

coast are the paradoxal frog (Pseudis paradoxa) and the pipa frog (Pipa pipa).



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6.2.3.2 Shorebirds

Guyana has a high species richness and diversity of flora and fauna. The coastal bird

community is rich in Guyana, with over 200 species of coastal birds recorded, including a

variety of parrots and macaws, numerous waterbirds and shorebirds, and raptors including the

rare Harpy Eagle (Harpia harpyja) (GNBSAAP, 2015). A coastal bird survey conducted along the

coast in the Georgetown region by Bayney and Da Silva (2005) documented 32 coastal bird

species, 20 of which are migrants. The most abundant species documented in the survey were

shorebirds including Least Sandpiper (Calidris minutilla), Spotted Sandpiper (Actitis malcularia),

Ruddy Turnstone (Arenaria interpres), and Semipalmated Plover (Charadrius semipalmatus).

Waterbird species including Snowy Egret (Egretta thula) and Cattle Egret (Bulbulcis ibis) were

also abundant. In 2007, Braun et al. developed a comprehensive checklist of the 814 bird species

within 11 habitats documented in Guyana (Braun et al., 2007). The coastal habitats surveyed

include mangrove forests and mudflats and the checklist includes 47 species within 18 families

for the mangroves and 38 species within 8 families for the mudflat habitats (Braun et al., 2007)

(Appendix I). A more recent bird survey within coastal mangrove habitats in southeast Guyana

identified 37 species within 14 families (Da Silva 2014). In this 2014 survey, the most abundant

species recorded were the Rufous Crab-hawk (Buteogallus aequinoctialis), Great Egret (Ardea

alba), Greater Kiskadee (Pitangus sulphuratus), Scarlet Ibis (Eudocimus ruber) and the Pied Water

Tyrant (Fluvicola pica) (Appendix I).

As discussed in Section 6.2.2, Shell Beach is the only coastal Protected Area in Guyana. Two

biodiversity surveys have been undertaken within and around Shell Beach over roughly the

past decade (Mendonca et al. 2006; GEPA et al.; 2004). Each of these surveys documented over

200 bird species in the Shell Beach area, including many forest interior species that occur in the

inland habitats of Shell Beach. Many of the over 200 species documented are migrants, traveling

from United States and Canada to spend the winter season in Guyana, primarily following the

Atlantic and Central Flyways to South America. The most abundant coastal species recorded at

and around Shell Beach during the two surveys included Laughing Gull (Larus atricilla), Scarlet

Ibis (Eudocimus ruber), Yellow-billed Tern (Sterna superciliaris), Least Tern (Sterna antillarum),

Spotted Sandpiper (Actitis macularia), Lesser Yellowlegs (Tringa flavipes), and Blackbellied

Whistling-duck (Dendrocyna autumnalis) (Mendonca et al. 2006; GEPA et al.: 2004).

BirdLife International (2016a) has designated several Important Bird Areas (IBAs) in the

neighboring countries of Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, and Venezuela. These IBAs provide

foraging, breeding, and nesting habitats similar to those found along Guyana’s coastline.

However, no IBAs have been designated in Guyana.



6.2.4 Seabirds

Seabirds are birds that spend their time in nearshore and/or offshore marine environments

away from land, except when they are nesting. Types or groups of seabirds more prevalent in

this region include albatrosses, petrels, shearwaters, storm-petrels, skuas, jaegers, tropicbirds,

and terns. Twenty-two species of seabirds breed in the Caribbean and dozens more occur as

migrants through the region. Seabird data that is specific to Guyana is almost non-existent and



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no comprehensive survey of seabirds has ever been conducted in Guyana (BirdLife

International, 2016).

Birdlife International lists 21 species of seabirds for Guyana (BirdLife International, 2016). Other

current data sources, such as eBird, and seabird observations recorded in the Stabroek Block

during the EEPGL seismic surveys conducted in 2015 and 2016, increase the total number of

documented seabird species in Guyana to 30 (eBird, 2016; RPS, 2016). This number is consistent

with that of other countries in the region. For example, 32 and 29 species of seabirds are

documented in Trinidad and Tobago and Venezuela, respectively (BirdLife International, 2016).

Table 6-8 lists the seabird species documented in Guyana based on the BirdLife data, eBird

records, and EEPGL observations. Any of these species could occur in the PDA at some time

during the year (specific timing of occurrence is dependent on the species and environmental

conditions). All of the 30 species of seabirds known to occur in Guyana are currently listed on

the IUCN Red List as LC, which means that the population status of the species does not meet

the IUCN criteria for a threatened or NT designation (IUCN, 2016).

Of the species observed in the Stabroek Block during the EEPGL seismic surveys, the most

commonly observed species (in descending order of number of sightings (i.e.; frequency of

occurrence) were the Masked Booby (Sula dactylatra), Magnificent Frigatebird (Fregata

magnificens), and Brown Booby (Sula leucogaster) (RPS, 2016).

Seabirds feed on fish and other marine organisms that concentrate on or near the surface of the

water, either by surface feeding (from flight or swimming) or by diving. As such, the presence

and availability of seabird prey in a given area, which is strongly influenced by the ocean’s

currents, are a major determinant in the occurrence of seabirds. Further, water clarity can

impact a seabird’s foraging success and some studies have suggested that seabirds in the

Caribbean prefer areas with clear water where they can more easily see their prey (Schreiber,

2001).

Seabirds in the PDA area are likely to be transients, moving opportunistically with schools of

fish and other prey. The marine environment within the PDA is heavily influenced by the

Guiana Current, which is a strong surface current that directs surface flows northwestward. No

slower moving or circular currents or areas of upwelling that could concentrate marine biota are

known to occur in the PDA. Further, no islands or near-surface submarine ridges that would be

an attractant to foraging seabirds occur in the PDA. While a variety of fish occur in the PDA,

including schooling fish such as tuna and mahi-mahi, no evidence suggests that large

concentrations of fish consistently occur in the PDA to the extent that they would promote

regular use by foraging seabirds. The turbid conditions in the Stabroek Block further reduce the

likelihood that the area has significant importance for foraging seabirds.

Since 2010, BirdLife International has focused its efforts on identifying Marine IBAs with

specific significance to seabirds. The types of sites that qualify as Marine IBAs include seabird

breeding colonies, foraging areas around breeding colonies, non-breeding (usually coastal)

concentrations, migratory bottlenecks, and feeding areas for pelagic species (Birdlife

International, 2016b). No Marine IBAs have been identified in Guyana, but three Marine IBAs of



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global or regional importance to seabirds have been designated in neighboring countries: St.

Giles Islands and Little Tobago, both located off the northeastern tip of Tobago, and Isla de

Aves in Venezuela (Lentino and Esclasans, 2009; Birdlife International 2016b; Devenish et al.,

2009). Figure 6-10 depicts the location of these IBAs relative to the Stabroek Block.



Table 6-8



Seabird Species Known to Occur in Guyana



Common Name a, b, c

Magnificent Frigatebird a, b, c

Brown Booby a, b, c

Masked Booby a, b

Red-footed Booby b

White-tailed Tropicbird a, b

Leach's Storm-petrel a, c

Audubon's Shearwater a, b, c

Wilson’s Storm-petrel b, c

Cory's Shearwater a, b

Barolo Shearwater b

Great Shearwater a, c

Arctic Jaeger c

Pomarine Jaeger a, b, c

Parasitic Jaeger b

South Polar Skua b

Great Skua c

Least Tern b, c

Royal Tern b, c

Black Tern b, c

Common Tern a, b, c

Bridled Tern b, c

Sooty Tern c

Sandwich Tern b, c

Roseate Tern b

Brown Noddy b, c

Gull Billed-tern b, c

Northern Gannet b

Laughing Gull b, c

Brown Pelican b, c

Neotropic Cormorant b, c



Scientific Name

Fregata magnificens

Sula leucogaster

Sula dactylatra

Sula sula

Phaethon lepturus

Oceanodroma leucorhoa

Puffinus lherminieri

Oceanites oceanicus

Calonectris diomedea

Puffinus baroli

Ardenna gravis

Stercorarius parasiticus

Stercorarius pomarinus

Stercorarius parasiticus

Stercorarius maccormicki

Catharacta skua

Sternula antillarum

Sterna maxima

Chlidonias niger

Sterna hirundo

Onychoprion anaethetus

Onychoprion fuscatus

Thalasseus sandvicensis

Sterna dougalli

Anous stolidus

Gelochelidon nilotica

Morus bassanus

Larus atricilla

Pelecanus occidentalis

Phalacrocorax brasilianus



Species observed in in the Stabroek Block during the EEPGL seismic surveys conducted in 2015 and 2016 (RPS,

2016)

b eBird record (eBird Caribbean, 2016)

c BirdLife International record (BirdLife International, 2016)

a



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St. Giles Islands IBA includes one main island and several surrounding rock outcrops that

support globally important numbers of breeding Red-billed Tropicbird (Phaethon aethereus) and

regionally important numbers of breeding Audubon’s Shearwater (Puffinus lherminieri),

Magnificent Frigatebird (Fregata magnificens), Masked Booby (Sula dactylatra), and Red-footed

Booby (S. sula). Other seabirds such as Brown Booby (S. leucogaster) and Brown Noddy (Anous

stolidus) also breed there (White, 2008; Devenish et al., 2009).

Little Tobago IBA supports globally important breeding populations of Red-billed Tropicbird

and Laughing Gull (Larus atricilla), and regionally important breeding populations of

Audubon’s Shearwater, Brown Booby, Red-footed Booby, and Bridled Tern (White, 2008;

Devenish et al., 2009).

Field surveys conducted as part of the coastal mapping of Trinidad and Tobago documented

large colonies of seabirds at both St. Giles Island and Little Tobago, as well as along the

northeastern cliffs of Tobago, from Corvo Point to Pedro Point (ERM, 2016).

The Isla de Aves IBA in Venezuela supports the largest breeding colony of Brown Noddy

known from the Caribbean (5,509 pairs), as well as the principal breeding colony of Sooty Tern

(Sterna fuscata) in Venezuela (12,182 pairs) (Lentino and Esclasans, 2009).



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Figure 6-10



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Location of IBAs with Importance to Seabirds Relative to Stabroek Block



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6.2.5 Marine Mammals

Although there have been no comprehensive studies in the PDA, a basic understanding of the

existing composition and distribution of the marine mammal community in the vicinity of the

PDA is provided by regional compilations (Ward, 2001; Ward and Moscrop, 1999), marine

mammal observation (MMO) data collected during EEPGL exploration activities from 2014 to

2016 (RPS PSO database), studies on cetaceans in offshore waters of neighboring countries such

as Suriname and Venezuela (de Boer, 2015; IWC/SC 2006), and incidental reports associated

with strandings and bycatch (Project GLOBAL, 2007). Information from these reports and other

studies provides the foundation for this discussion of existing conditions, which is focused on

cetaceans. One sirenian, the West Indian manatee, and two pinniped groups (seals and sea

lions), have been documented in the region, but are either now considered to be locally extinct

or extremely rare and would not be expected to be encountered in coastal waters adjacent to the

PDA (Ward, 2001). However, the manatee may be encountered in nearshore and riverine

settings.



6.2.5.1 Regional Setting

The equatorial waters of Guyana are located within sub-region VI of the Wider Caribbean

Region (WCR). This sub-region includes the countries of Guyana, Suriname, and French Guiana

(Ward and Moscrop, 1999). Many cetacean species are known to occur either seasonally or yearround in the waters of the WCR, but there are minimal data concerning the life history and

behavior of the majority of these species. The cetacean community is also under-recorded in

waters off of French Guiana and Guyana (de Boer, 2015; Mannocci et al., 2013). In contrast, more

detailed records exist for Venezuela in the southern Caribbean region. The scarcity of cetacean

records for sub-region VI can be attributed to a lack of survey effort rather than an absence of

marine mammals (de Boer, 2015).



6.2.5.2



Marine Mammal Data from the Project Development Area



The 2007 Global Bycatch Assessment of Long-lived Species (Project GloBAL) Country Profile of

Guyana provides a list of marine mammals whose distributions overlap with Guyana’s

Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). The cetacean species documented in this report are listed in

Table 6-9.

Table 6-9



Marine Mammals with Ranges that include Waters Offshore Guyana



Common Name

Sei whale



Scientific Name

Balaenoptera

borealis



IUCN Status

EN



Bryde’s whale



Balaenoptera

brydei



Data

Deficient



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Notes

The sei whale is a baleen whale and is the thirdlargest after the blue whale and the fin whale. It

inhabits most oceans and adjoining seas, and

prefers deep offshore waters.

Bryde’s whales are moderately sized and closely

resemble their relative, the sei whale.



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Common Name

Blue whale



Scientific Name

Balaenoptera

musculus



IUCN Status

EN



Fin whale



Balaenoptera

physalus



EN



Short beaked

common

dolphin



Delphinus delphis



LC



Long beaked

common

dolphin



Delphinus

capensis



Data

Deficient



Minke whale



Balaenoptera

acutorostrata

Eubalaena

glacialis



LC



Pygmy killer

whale



Feresa attenuate



Data

Deficient



Short-finned

pilot whale



Globicephala

macrorhynchus



Data

Deficient



Risso’s dolphin



Grampus griseus



LC



Pygmy sperm

whale



Kogia breviceps



Data

Deficient



Dwarf sperm

whale



Kogia simus



Data

Deficient



North Atlantic

right whale



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Notes

Blue whales are the largest mammals on earth.

Their diet consists almost entirely of krill. Blue

whales were hunted nearly to extinction.

Fin whales are the second largest mammal after

blue whales; they are found worldwide and

their food consists of small fish, squid, copepods

and krill.

These dolphins occur throughout warm

temperate and tropical oceans. Short-beaked

common dolphins can occur in aggregations of

hundreds or even thousands of dolphins. They

sometimes associate with other dolphin species,

such as pilot whales.

The range of this dolphin is more restricted than

that of the short beaked common dolphin. It has

a varied diet. One of the main threats to this

dolphin is fisheries.

Minke whales are the second smallest baleen

whale.

This is a baleen whale that was once a preferred

target for whalers. They feed mostly on

copepods and krill.

This is a poorly known and rarely seen dolphin

that avoids human contact. They are often

caught in drift gill nets.

Short-finned pilot whales are very sociable and

are rarely seen alone. They are found in groups

of 10 to 30, though some pods are as large as 50.

The species primarily feeds on squid, but will

also feed on certain species of fish and octopus.

They feed nearly 300 m deep or more, and

spend great lengths of time at depth. A pod may

spread out up to 800 m (~2,640 ft) to cover more

area to find food.

These are found worldwide in temperate and

tropical waters, just off the continental shelf on

steep banks. Risso’s dolphins feed almost

exclusively on neritic and oceanic squid, mostly

nocturnally.

The pygmy sperm whale is not much larger

than many dolphins. Pygmy sperm whales are

normally either solitary, or found in pairs. They

feed mainly on cephalopods.

The dwarf sperm whale is the smallest species

commonly known as a whale. Dwarf sperm

whales feed mainly on squid and crab. Its

preferred habitat appears to be just off the

continental shelf.



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Common Name

Fraser’s dolphin



Scientific Name

Lagenodelphis

hosei



IUCN Status

LC



Humpback

whale



Megaptera

novaeangliae



LC



Blainville’s

beaked whale



Mesoplodon

densirostris



Data

Deficient



Gervais’ beaked

whale



Mesoplodon

europaeus



Data

Deficient



True’s beaked

whale

Melon-headed

whale



Mesoplodon

mirus

Peponocephala

electra



Data

Deficient

LC



Sperm whale



Physeter

macrocephalus



VU



False killer

whale



Pseudorca

crassidens



Data

Deficient



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Notes

This dolphin is normally sighted in deep

tropical waters. Fraser's dolphins swim quickly

in large tightly packed groups of about 100 to

1000 in number.

Found in oceans and seas around the world,

humpback whales typically migrate up to

25,000 km each year. Humpbacks feed only in

summer, in polar waters, and migrate to tropical

or subtropical waters to breed and give birth in

the winter. Once hunted to the brink of

extinction, its population fell by an estimated

90% before a 1966 moratorium. Since this time,

stocks have partially recovered.

This species of beaked whale is found in tropical

and warm waters in all oceans, and has been

known to range into very high latitudes. The

whales are seen in groups of three to seven

individuals. Dives have been measured as long

as 22 minutes.

These whales occur in small groups. They most

likely feed on squid. Although this species

frequently strands, until 1998, no one had made

a confirmed sighting of the species at sea.

These have been seen in small groups, and are

believed to be squid eaters. Little else is known.

Closely related to the pygmy killer whale and

pilot whale, collectively this dolphin species is

known by the common name blackfish. It is also

related to the false killer whale. The melonheaded whale is widespread throughout the

world's tropical waters, although not often seen

by humans because it prefers deep water.

The largest of the toothed whales that can be

found anywhere in the open ocean, females and

young males live together in groups while

mature males live solitary lives outside of the

mating season. Females give birth every four to

twenty years, and care for the calves for more

than a decade. A mature sperm whale has few

natural predators. They feed on squid and fish

and usually dive between 300 to 800 m (984 to

2,625 ft) to forage.

This species lives in temperate and tropical

waters throughout the world. As its name

implies, the false killer whale shares

characteristics, such as appearance, with the

more widely known killer whale. Like the killer

whale, the false killer whale attacks and kills

other cetaceans.



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Common Name

Pantropical

spotted dolphin



Scientific Name

Stenella attenuata



IUCN Status

LC



Clymene

dolphin



Stenella clymene



Data

Deficient



Striped dolphin



Stenella

coeruleoalba



LC



Spinner dolphin



Stenella

longerostris



Data

Deficient



Rough-toothed

dolphin



Steno bredanensis



LC



Notes

Found in all the world's temperate and tropical

oceans, this species was threatened due to the

killing of millions of individuals in tuna purse

seines. In the 1980s, the rise of "dolphinfriendly" tuna capture methods benefitted the

species and it is now one of the most abundant

dolphin species in the world.

Clymene dolphins spend most of their lives in

waters over 100 m (330 ft) in depth, but

occasionally move into shallower, coastal

regions. They feed on squid and small schooling

fish, hunting either at night, or in mesopelagic

waters where there is only limited light.

The striped dolphin inhabits temperate or

tropical, offshore waters. It moves in large

groups — usually up to thousands of

individuals in number. The adult striped

dolphin eats fish, squid, octopus, krill, and other

crustaceans.

The spinner dolphin is a small dolphin found in

offshore tropical waters around the world. The

species primarily inhabits coastal waters,

islands, or banks.

These dolphins can be found in deep warm and

tropical waters around the world and are

typically social animals. An average group has

between 10 and 20 members. They have also

been reported to school together with other

species of dolphin, and with pilot whales, false

killer whales, and humpback whales.



Source: Global, 2007; De Boer, 2015; IUCN 3.1; Minasian et al., 1984



A recent peer-reviewed study was conducted in Suriname and adjacent waters in 2012 (De Boer

2015). The data from this study were collected at similar depths and distances offshore as the

PDA. De Boer (2015) documented the presence of 10 identifiable species in dedicated, effortrelated surveys. These are shown in bold in Table 5-A of de Boer (2015). In addition, during

transit to the survey area (Trinidad to Suriname), De Boer also documented incidental sightings

of common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) off of Trinidad, other dolphins (Stenella sp.)

off of Guyana, and Guiana dolphin (Sotalia guianensis) at the entrance of the Suriname River.

These species may be encountered closer to shore where Project-related marine support vessel

transits will be occurring.

The survey data from De Boer (2015) show that the cetacean community in the Suriname area is

primarily composed of odontocetes (toothed whales, including sperm whales, beaked whales,

killer whales, and dolphins). These are more common offshore of Suriname than the baleen

whales (including Bryde’s and sei whales). The occurrence of baleen whales is likely seasonal,

with Bryde’s/sei whales recorded only during June and July. Additional opportunistic records



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cited in De Boer (2015) show that large baleen whales have been observed in early October. Both

shelf waters and offshore waters are important for the dolphin community.

De Boer (2015) notes that the most abundant species documented offshore Suriname were the

sperm whale and melon-headed whale. Spinner and pantropical spotted dolphins were also

frequently encountered in large groups. The relative abundance index for all cetaceans was

relatively low, as expected for the offshore survey location (approximately 1,190 m to 3,350 m

[3,900 ft to 11,000 ft] water depths). Based on these data when viewed together with other

systematic surveys in tropical regions in the eastern Atlantic and western Africa, estimated

densities were found to be much higher in areas that spanned both deep and shallow waters

versus the deep water-only area surveyed offshore Suriname. (De Boer, 2010). For example,

tropical shallow shelf waters off of the Maldives in the Indian Ocean generally hold a much

more diverse and abundant cetacean community (Clark et al., 2012).

Other older reports provide additional information for context. For example, the International

Whaling Commission (IWC) Scientific Committee’s (SC’s) Draft Report on Small Cetaceans of

the Wider Caribbean (IWC/SC, 2006) cites information from French Guiana and Venezuela and

provides secondary information on Guyana’s marine mammals. Bottlenose dolphins are

incidentally captured in both gillnet and trawl fisheries in these countries. Tucuxi or grey

dolphin (Sotalia fluviatilis) are known to suffer incidental capture in gillnets and seines

throughout their range, which includes the Guianas (French Guiana, Suriname and Guyana).

Marine mammal observations during recent seismic surveys conducted between December

2015 and March 2016 (RPS, 2016) noted that dolphins were detected (either visually or

acoustically) on 20 occasions and included four species: pantropical and bottlenose dolphins,

short-finned pilot whales, and melon headed whales. Two sperm whale detections and two

Bryde’s whale detections were also recorded, along with one unidentified baleen whale. Visual

monitoring was conducted over a period of about 85 days for a total of 1007.5 hours. Data from

this winter study were combined with other observations in the Stabroek and Canje Blocks to

develop the list of confirmed species sighted depicted in Table 6-10.

Table 6-10



Marine Mammal Species Visually Observed during EEPGL Activities Since 2014



Common Name

Bryde’s whale

Fraser's dolphin

Melon headed whale

Pantropical spotted dolphin

Risso’s dolphin

Short-finned pilot whale

Sperm whale

Spinner dolphin



Scientific Name

Balaenoptera brydei

Lagenodelphis hosei

Peponocephala electra

Stenella attenuate

Grampus griseus

Globicephala macrorhynchus

Physeter microcephalus

Stenella longirostris



Source: RPS, 2016



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Table 6-11 summarizes the data for acoustic and visual observations of marine mammals in the

vicinity of the PDA, month-by-month, over the period June 1, 2014 to September 1, 2016. The

locations of whales sighted or identified from acoustic observations during this period are

depicted on Figure 6-11.

Table 6-11



Sperm Whale

Dolphin

Baleen Whale

Beaked Whale



Data Compiled from PSO Observations June 2014 to September 2016

Jan

3

56

7

0



Feb

2

28

3

0



Mar

2

3

6

0



Apr

1

8

4

0



Number of Observations

May Jun July Aug

0

1

4

6

6

7

14

34

0

2

3

0

1

0

1

0



Sep

2

52

0

0



Oct

4

42

0

0



Nov

0

52

1

0



Dec

0

42

3

0



Source: RPS PSOMAP database search from June 1, 2014, to Sept 1, 2016. Includes visual and acoustic detections. Data

indicates number of detections rather than abundance.



These observations off of Guyana correspond with those documented by De Boer (2015) off of

Suriname. Based on these recent sightings and data compilations, toothed whales (including

dolphins) are detected most frequently in the PDA, but baleen whales may also be encountered.

A survey of nearshore waters conducted by Charles et al. (2004) of 125 Guyanese captains of

trawl, drift seine, and red snapper fishing vessels found that these vessels usually encountered

boto (Inia geoffrensis), spotted dolphin (Stenella spp.), longmouth or common dolphin (Delphinus

delphi), tucuxi (Sotalia fluviatilis), spinner dolphin (Stenella longirostrus), and bottlenose dolphin

(Tursiops truncatus). Individuals of these species may be encountered by marine support vessel

operations and tankers in these waters.

Nearshore Project activities in or near the Demerara River could encounter West Indian

manatees. A subspecies of the West Indian manatee is sometimes referred to as the Antillean

manatee (Trichechus manatus manatus). Antillean manatees are sparsely distributed throughout

the Caribbean and the Northwestern Atlantic Ocean, from Mexico, east to the Greater Antilles,

and south to Brazil. They are found in French Guiana, Suriname, Guyana, Trinidad (though

there has been a lack of recent sightings there), and Venezuela. Historically, Antillean manatees

were hunted by local natives and sold to European explorers for food. Today, they are

threatened by loss of habitat, poaching, entanglement with fishing gear, and increased boating

activity.



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Locations of Marine Mammal Sightings Relative to the Stabroek Block



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6.2.6 Marine Turtles

According to the Regional Sea Turtle Conservation Program and Action Plan for the Guianas (2003),

sea turtles are an important natural resource shared by the countries of the “Guiana Shield

region”, which encompasses the nations of Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname, French Guiana, and

Brazil. Data from this action plan along with more recent compilations from Project Global

(2007), The Center for Rural Empowerment and the Environment ([CREE], 2014), and

observations collected during exploration activities from 2014 to 2016 represent the main

sources of data for turtles in the Project Area. In addition, information on the interaction

between sea turtles and trawl fisheries on the Guianas shelf since the 1970s was reviewed

(Pritchard 1973, 1991).



6.2.6.1 Regional Setting and Species Descriptions

Five sea turtle species are found in the region, all of which occur in Guyanese waters. Four of

these species: green turtle (Chelonia mydas), leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea), hawksbill

turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata), and Olive Ridley turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea) nest on Guyana’s

beaches. Loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta) also occur offshore Guyana, but rarely come ashore.

In addition to sandy beaches for egg-laying, as a group sea turtles require healthy coral reef,

seagrass, and hard-bottom habitats for food and refuge, although the relative importance of

these habitats varies by species. Based on each species’ known habitat requirements some green

sea turtles likely remain in Guyana waters as juveniles to feed in the sargassum mats while the

other species largely move to clearer waters and coral reefs to the north after hatching (Piniak

and Eckert, 2011).

Green turtles are generally found in tropical and subtropical waters along coastlines and

continental islands between the latitudes of 30° North and 30° South. They are distributed

worldwide, nesting in more than 80 countries and inhabiting the coastal waters of more than

140 countries (National Marine Fisheries Service & U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 2007). Green

turtles are listed as endangered by the IUCN and are protected from exploitation in most

countries. Adult green turtles are benthic herbivores (Bjorndal et al., 1997); they play an

important role in seagrass ecosystems by pruning them, increasing the nutrient cycle and

preventing the creation of sediment (Bjorndal and Jackson, 2003; Jackson et al., 2001). Their

migrations have two phases: they travel rapidly to the open ocean in a straight line and then

move more slowly toward the migration coasts (Troëng et al., 2005b).

Leatherback turtles are the largest of all sea turtle species and do not have a hard shell like other

sea turtles; instead, their shell is made of leathery tissue. Leatherbacks are found in pelagic

tropical and temperate marine waters, where they spend most of the time feeding on jellyfish,

salps, and siphonophores (DOE, 2014); however, they are also known to forage along coastlines.

Leatherbacks make extensive seasonal migrations between different feeding areas and nest at

the same location every year (NWF, 2014b). Leatherback turtles nest from March to mid-July

along the Caribbean coast (Troëng et al., 2004). Young leatherback turtles can remain in tropical

latitudes until the length of their shell reaches approximately 40 inches (Eckert 1999). The

largest nesting colony in the Caribbean region is located in Yalimapo, French Guiana (Eckert

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and Grobois 2001). A moderate number of nests can also be found in Guyana, Venezuela,

Trinidad, and Colombia. This species is listed by the IUCN as Vulnerable.

The hawksbill turtle is a small- to medium-sized sea turtle that has an elongated head that

tapers to a point with a beaklike mouth, giving its name (NOAA, 2014e). These turtles are

circumtropical and can be found in waters from latitudes of 30° North to 30° South in the

Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian oceans and use a wide range of broadly separated localities and

habitats during their lifetimes (Mortimer and Donnelly, 2008). However, individuals located

within the Atlantic Ocean primarily feed on sponges and are found within lagoons, ledges, and

caves associated with coral reef environments (NOAA, 2014e). These types of habitats are

generally found northwest of the PDA in the Caribbean Sea. This species is listed as Critically

Endangered by the IUCN.

The loggerhead turtle is an oceanic turtle distributed throughout the world. The loggerhead

turtle is found in the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian oceans, as well as the Mediterranean Sea. It

spends most of its life in saltwater and estuarine habitats, with females briefly coming ashore to

lay eggs. The loggerhead sea turtle has a low reproductive rate; females lay an average of four

egg clutches and then become quiescent, producing no eggs for two to three years. The

loggerhead turtle is omnivorous, feeding mainly on bottom-dwelling invertebrates. Its large

and powerful jaws serve as an effective tool for dismantling its prey. Young loggerheads are

exploited by numerous predators; the eggs are especially vulnerable to terrestrial organisms.

This species is classified by the IUCN as Endangered with high risk of extinction.

The olive ridley turtle is a small circumtropical sea turtle that is classified as vulnerable by the

IUCN. While olive ridley turtle populations have declined in prior decades, their populations

have remained stable in more recent years. Olive ridley turtles are best known for their

behavior of synchronized nesting in mass numbers, termed arribadas. Females return to the

same beach at which they first hatched to lay their eggs. The olive ridley is predominantly

carnivorous, especially in immature stages of the life cycle. Animal prey consists of

protochordates or invertebrates, which can be caught in shallow marine waters or estuarine

habitats. Common prey items include jellyfish, tunicates, sea urchins, bryozoans, bivalves,

snails, shrimp, crabs, rock lobsters, and sipunculid worms.

Large nesting aggregations of green and leatherback turtles are located in the Guianas

(Suriname and French Guiana), while smaller nesting areas are located from northwestern

Guyana (Shell Beach) to Venezuela and some Caribbean islands (which includes the Leeward,

Lesser, and Greater Antilles); the Gulf of Mexico (Central America); and Atlantic Ocean (the

Bahamas; and the southern coast of the United States) (Piniak, 2011). The hawksbill turtle’s

range is primarily in the Caribbean Sea, with small nesting areas in the Guianas and in eastern

Brazil. The olive ridley turtle primarily nests along the French Guiana coast with small nesting

areas along the northeastern coast of Venezuela to Suriname and in eastern Brazil (Piniak, 2011).

The primary nesting

northwestern coast of

coastal erosion, which

distributed along the

May 2017



site for all these species in Guyana is Shell Beach, located on the

Guyana. The exact locations of secondary nesting sites change due to

creates and destroys nesting areas continuously, but they are generally

northwest coast between the Pomeroon River and the Waini River

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estuaries. Leatherback turtles are the most common species on Guyana’s nesting beaches, while

nesting green and hawksbill turtles are less common. According to CREE, the primary nesting

season for the leatherback, green, hawksbill, and olive ridley turtles in Guyana (Shell Beach)

occurs at night from March to August (CREE, 2014).

The primary threats to sea turtles are poaching of eggs and adults, intentional and accidental

fishing, and habitat disturbance and degradation due to marine pollution, coastal zone

development, shore erosion, lighting, and debris. Population monitoring and conservation

activities are limited, primarily due to the logistical challenges associated with the remoteness

of primary nesting sites.

Although leatherback and olive ridley turtles occur at higher densities and thus show a

corresponding higher frequency in shrimp trawls, juvenile greens and loggerheads are also

taken as bycatch (see Project Global, 2007). Tambiah (1994) estimated that trawl nets in the

Guianas caught 1,300 turtles annually, with mortality rates of 60 percent. Tambiah (1994) also

reported that gillnet fisheries in Guyana and Suriname are an even bigger threat than trawl

fisheries, incidentally capturing 21,600 sea turtles per year. However, the report documents the

highest incidences of olive ridley bycatch occurring during the period prior to the nesting

arribadas in Suriname (January to March), coinciding with the peak period for shrimp fisheries

(February to May).



6.2.6.2 Marine Turtle Data for the Project Development Area

MMO observations conducting during seismic surveys between July 2015 and August 2016

detected six sea turtles: one green turtle, two loggerhead turtles and three unidentified turtles.

The locations of the sightings are indicated on Figure 6-11.

Based on these recent sightings and data compilations, it is possible that any of the five abovereferenced sea turtle species could be encountered in the PDA.

The Sea Turtle Conservation Society actively maps sea turtle movements, by placing satellite

transmitter tags on individual turtles after they finish nesting (see www.conserveturtles.org).

Starting on May 21, 2012, the Society mapped movements of three leatherback turtles from their

nesting place at Shell Beach (Figure 6.-12). Each remained offshore of Shell Beach and in

Guyana’s equatorial waters for several weeks. By the second to third week of June, two had

moved farther offshore in transit to waters off the coast of Nova Scotia, while one remained in

Guyanese waters until the third week of July and eventually transited to Honduran waters. One

passed through the Stabroek Block before moving northward. These movements are consistent

with Piniak and Eckert’s (2011) assertion that most species of marine turtles likely move out of

Guyanese waters as juveniles.



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Location of Sea Turtle Sightings and Satellite Tracks Relative to the Stabroek

Block



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6.2.7 Marine Fish

Scientific data on marine fish in the PDA are sparse. Much of what is known about marine

fishes offshore Guyana is known from study of commercial landings. The inshore fish

community is dominated by drums, croakers, and marine catfishes, and includes other species

such as snooks and tarpon. Further offshore near the interface of the turbid North Brazil

Current with oceanic water, the fish community is more complex, consisting of pelagic, highly

migratory species such as tunas, jacks, and mackerels in the upper water column and snappers

and groupers in the demersal zone (lowest section of the water column, near the seafloor)

(MOA, 2013). Sharks are found inshore and offshore.

Guyana’s marine fish community exemplifies the ecological connectivity among the mangroves,

estuaries, and offshore zones, because many fish species are dependent on different habitats at

specific life stages or occur in more than one habitat type. Several species that occur in the

inshore and offshore zones as adults are dependent on coastal mangroves as juveniles,

particularly drums, croakers, and snappers. Catfishes occur in the mangroves, estuaries, and

oceanic waters as adults. Some other species, including snooks and tarpon, may occur

occasionally in the ocean, but are specifically adapted to completing their entire life cycles in

mangrove-lined estuaries (MOA, 2013).



6.2.7.1 Historical Data on Demersal Coastal Species

The most complete data on marine fish in Guyana’s territorial waters come from a two-year

trawl survey conducted in 1958 and 1959. The survey consisted of 35 cruises lasting 4 to 11 days

each, and included data from 1,070 stations comprising 2,246 fishing hours (McConnell, 1962).

Although the study report does not contain a map of the individual stations, the map of the

study area indicates that they extended seaward to the edge of the continental shelf. Although

the study did capture some pelagic species, it was designed as a trawl survey and was therefore

more oriented toward demersal species. The study documented the presence of 213 species of

fish, comprised primarily of drums, croakers, catfishes, jacks, grunts, and snappers. McConnell

noted a spatial pattern in the distribution of fishes across the shelf, and separated the shelf into

four biogeographic zones:















Zone 1: described as the “brown fish” zone, water depths from 0 to 10 fathoms (0-18 m). The

fish community in this zone was dominated by drums, catfishes, rays, and various

toadfishes (Batrachoididae).

Zone 2: described as the “golden fish” zone, water depths from 10 up to 30 fathoms (18-55

m). The fish community in this zone was dominated by catfishes, jacks, and grunts.

Zone 3: described as the “silver fish” zone. This zone was associated with less turbid oceanic

waters and the location of this zone was more dependent on water quality than depth, but

the fish typical of this zone were particularly abundant in water 20 to 40 fathoms (37-75 m).

Zone 4: described as the “red fish” zone, ranging from water depths of about 20 fathoms

near Suriname and 30 to 40 fathoms (55-75m) closer to Georgetown seaward to the edge of

the continental shelf. Snappers and various demersal species comprised the bulk of the catch

in this zone.



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Approximately 80 species of fish occurred in Zone 4 in the McConnell study. These species are

listed in Appendix K. Although the PDA is located slightly north of the seaward limit of

McConnell’s study area (and in deeper water), the catches from Zone 4 contain species that are

also found at much deeper depths, and are therefore considered indicative of the types of fish

that are likely to occur in the PDA, especially near the seafloor.

The data from Zone 4 in the McConnell study include several species that are commonly

associated with coral reefs, including butterflyfishes, angelfishes, wrasses, and parrotfishes

(MConnell, 1962). McConnell notes that coral fragments appeared in the trawl, but that the coral

retrieved in the net was dead. It seems likely that the coral-associated fishes in the McConnell

study were likely present on scattered fragments of dead coral or possibly small dead patches of

coral rather than on living reefs.

Based on comparisons with species lists from nearby countries, McConnell determined that

about 50 percent of Guyana’s marine fish species were widely distributed coastal species, about

10 percent were clear-water associated species more typical of the Caribbean Islands, about 5

percent were more southerly species typical of the Brazilian coast, and the balance were habitat

generalists with no defined regional habitat associations. McConnell also noted that the North

Atlantic Continental Shelf is continuous from the Gulf of Mexico to Brazil and that there were

no major barriers to migration through this area, so Guyana’s marine fish community would be

expected to have many species in common with other countries in the region. This likely

explains the presence of so many widespread species in the dataset.

The Guyana Fisheries Department (a division of the Guyana Ministry of Agriculture) does not

monitor non-commercial marine fisheries, but bycatch data from the nearshore shrimp trawl

fishery provided by the Guyana Fisheries Department (summarized in Table 6-12) are

consistent with the McConnell study with respect to marketable species in McConnell’s

“brown” fish zones. Recent bycatch data collected since 2012 from shrimp trawlers identify

seven species of fish. Four of these species (Bangamary, Bashaw, Croaker, Sea Trout) are in the

family Scianidae, which McConnell identified as characteristic of Zone 1 (McConnell et al.,

1962); Bangamary, Bashaw, and Sea Trout represent 65-75 percent of the total bycatch by weight

each year from 2012 to 2015.



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Fish Bycatch from the Nearshore Shrimp Trawling Fishery 2012-2015 (mt)



Species

Bangamary



2012

757



2013

921



2014

1,380



2015

1,151



Butterfish



559



665



6622



485



Bashaw



111



189



1799



168



Croaker



0



0



0



0



303



292



4711



303



Grey Snapper



3



2



22



Snook



0



0



0



42



1,733



2,069



2,692



2,148



Sea Trout



Total



0.1



Source: ERM Personal Communication 16



6.2.7.2 Observations from EEPGL’s Offshore Activities

Project-specific information on fish species from the PDA is available from observations made

during EEPGL’s various activities in the southeastern half of the Stabroek Block since 2014

(Figure 6-13). Fish observed in this area (Figure 6-13) include 17 species, as listed in Table 6-13.

None of these species were documented in the McConnell study, but the data from EEPGL’s

activities were acquired from surface observations and are comprised of species that are

characteristic of the upper water column, so would not be expected in McConnell’s trawl

survey.

Table 6-13



Fish Species Observed in the Stabroek Block during EEPGL Activities Since 2014



Common Name

Mahi-mahi

Jack

Atlantic tripletail

Atlantic flying fish

Little tunny

Manta ray

Ocean sunfish

Planehead filefish

Sailfish

Skipjack tuna

Blackfin tuna

Yellowfin tuna

Clearwing flying fish

Blue marlin

Bar jack

Crevalle jack

Rainbow runner



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Scientific Name

Coryphaena hippurus

Seriola sp.

Lobotes surinamensis

Chellopogon melanurus

Euthynnus alletteratus

Manta sp.

Mola mola

Stephanolepis hispidus

Istiophrous albicans

Katsuwonus pelamis

Thunnus atlanticus

Thunnus albacares

Cypselurus comatus

Makaira nigricans

Caranx ruber

Caranx hippos

Elagatis bipinnulata



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Approximate Locations of Biological Observations Made Since 2014



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In the summer of 2011, several islands in the eastern Caribbean (e.g., Anguilla, Antigua &

Barbuda, Barbados, British Virgin Islands, Guadeloupe, Martinique, St. Lucia, St. Maarten / St.

Martin) experienced large amounts of sargassum washing ashore. In 2012 and 2014, Barbados,

Guadeloupe, Dominica, Antigua & Barbuda, St. Croix, and Puerto Rico reported moderate

episodes of the phenomenon. The sargassum consisted of two species: Common Gulfweed

(Sargassum natans) and Broad-toothed Gulfweed (Sargassum fluitans) (CRFM, undated). A large

amount of sargassum was also documented in the Stabroek Block in 2015. Quantities were

sufficiently large in the block to clog intake hoses for vessel propulsion systems and foul

acquisition equipment being used to collect seismic data in the block at the time. Subsequent

analysis of satellite imagery revealed that although sargassum densities were unusually high

offshore Guyana in 2015, sargassum concentrations fluctuate annually and have a seasonal peak

between April and September (Palandro, 2016).

The presence of such large amounts of sargassum is significant from a fish biodiversity

perspective because sargassum has several important ecological roles related to marine fishes,

including:









concentrating forage fish that are preyed upon by large pelagic fishes (including juvenile

swordfish, dolphinfish, filefishes, jacks, flying fishes, triggerfishes, and various tunas);

spawning habitat for flying fish (Exocoetidae); and

habitat for unique fishes and other organisms that spend most or all of their lives in floating

mats of sargassum, including the sargassum fish (Histrio histrio).



6.2.7.3 Special Status Fish Species

Thirty marine and coastal fishes in Guyana have been ranked by the IUCN as threatened (CR,

EN, or VU) with another 21 ranked as NT. According to the IUCN’s classification scheme, these

species currently face a credible threat of extinction, and are expected to face such risks soon.

An additional 17 are considered Data Deficient and cannot be objectively assessed with the

currently available data. Most of the threatened or NT species that could be impacted by the

Project are fish. These species are listed in Appendix H. They include highly migratory species

(e.g., some tunas and sharks), bentho-pelagic species (e.g., some groupers), and demersal

species (e.g., some skates and rays). As noted in Section 6.3.3.2, many of these fish species are

also targeted by the Guyanese commercial fishing industry.

All of the CR species are coastal species and would not be expected to occur in the vicinity of

the PDA. Several of the EN species, including Atlantic bluefin tuna, whale shark, squat-headed

hammerhead shark, and scalloped hammerhead shark, are open water pelagic species and

could occur in the PDA intermittently, but would not be expected to be residents in the area.

The two remaining EN species (golden tilefish and Nassau grouper) are bottom-dwelling

species and do not move large distances as adults, but they are most often associated with

uneven bottoms containing rocky outcrops, shipwrecks, or other structural habitats. The

continental slope in the vicinity of the PDA lacks any known structure that would be expected

to attract or aggregate these species.



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The VU, NT, and Data Deficient categories all contain a mix of pelagic species (e.g., sharks and

tunas) and demersal marine species (such as grouper, skate, and ray species), and in some cases

species that are important targets of fishery activities (e.g., gillbacker).



6.2.8 Marine Benthos

The benthic communities inhabiting the Guyana Basin are influenced by the dominant

environmental conditions that characterize the area, including sediment composition, water

turbidity, and nutrient loads. This section describes the marine benthic habitat within the

Project AOI.



6.2.8.1 Methodology

This section draws on information provided in the scientific literature, maps, Automated

Underwater Vehicle (AUV) photographs, as well as field data collected by box coring and

sediment profile imaging during the 2014 and 2016 environmental surveys.



6.2.8.2 Regional Setting

Marine benthic biological resources offshore of Guyana are poorly studied, but do not include

the matrix of shallow coral reefs and seagrass meadows that are characteristic of coastal tropical

Atlantic environments elsewhere. This is due to the highly turbid conditions offshore of

Guyana, which do not permit the growth of warm water corals, since they rely on symbiotic

photosynthetic algae for nourishment.

Two cold-water coral species (Madrepora oculata and Solenosmilia variabilis) are known to occur

offshore of Guyana. Both species occur in a wide range of depths, M. oculata from 55 to 1,950 m

and S. variabilis from approximately 219 m to 2,165 m. The locations and the extent of deepwater

corals offshore of Guyana have not been published (Freiwald et al., 2004). Many cold water

corals construct reefs that support highly diverse invertebrate and fish fauna (NOAA, 2014).

Both M. oculata and S. variabilis are technically considered reef-building corals, but M. oculata is

particularly fragile and does not often form deepwater reefs. It more frequently occurs as a

commensal species living within or on reefs that were originally constructed by more robust

species such as S. variabilis.

Several species of bentho-pelagic shrimp occur in Guyanese waters, including shallow water

species such as the Atlantic Seabob (Xiphopenaeus kroyeri), the Southern Brown Shrimp (Penaeus

subtilis), and the Southern White Shrimp (Penaeus schmitti). The Red-spotted Shrimp (Penaeus

brasiliensis) and the Southern Pink Shrimp (P. notialis) are found in deeper waters (USEPA,

2010). While these species are free swimming, they are often found at or near the bottom.

In addition to shrimp, there are other species of crustaceans found in the deepwater areas of the

Caribbean Sea. These include several species of isopods (such as Leptanthura guianae and

Malacanthura truncata) (Poore and Schotte, 2009 and 2015) and amphipods (including Ampelisca

mississippiana, and Thaumastasoma species). There are also numerous species of annelids,



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including the polychaetes Tharyx marioni, Aricidea suecia, Levinsenia uncinata, and Paraonella

monilaris, as well as bivalves, such as Vesicomya vesical and Heterodonta sp. (Wei et al., 2010).



6.2.8.3 Existing Conditions in the Project Development Area

Results of the 2014 environmental survey revealed that the total abundance of benthic infauna

in the PDA was low, averaging 116 organisms per m2. This organism density is below the range

of typical abundances reported from other continental slopes (Rowe et al., 1982; Flach et al.,

1999). The most abundant major taxonomic groups were polychaete worms, crustaceans, and

mollusks. The overall prevalence of these three groups is typical for marine sediments.

Polychaetes were the numerically dominant group identified (avg. density 47 per m2,

representing 41 percent of the total groups). Polychaetes typically comprise about half of all

species and a third of macrofaunal species from deep-water marine habitats worldwide. Aside

from polychaetes, no other individual major taxa were abundant, with each of the other taxa

groups individually representing less than 14 percent of total abundance. The observed paucity

of macrofauna is likely ascribed to limited organic food sources, indicated by the low organic

carbon content in the sediment. No deepwater coral growth was detected in either the 2014 or

2016 environmental surveys or the AUV surveys of the seafloor in the vicinity of the Liza-1 well

(Maxon Consulting, Inc. and TDI Brooks International, Inc., 2014; FUGRO EMU Limited, 2016).

A total of 50 distinct families were identified during the 2014 environmental survey, with

approximately half represented by either one or two individuals. This is a relatively high level

of diversity considering the low abundance of macrofauna. Dominant families were typical

cosmopolitan inhabitants of shelf and slope sediments worldwide. These included spionid,

cirratulid, paraonid polychaetes, phoxocephalid amphipods, and thyasirid and nuculanid

(bivalve) mollusks.

Similar to the 2014 data, the 2016 environmental study showed an overall prevalence of

annelids (including polychaetes), crustaceans, and mollusks typical for marine sediments as

well as low macrofaunal densities. The 2016 samples averaged 20 organisms per 0.1 m2, which

can be extrapolated to 200 organisms per 1 m2 for the purposes of comparison to the 2014 data.

While the 2014 survey did not categorize the macrofauna organisms beyond the family level,

the 2016 survey further classified the macrofauna to the order and species level and covered a

larger sampling area. Results from the 2016 sampling showed macrofaunal communities within

the survey area to be diverse. In 2016, a total of 165 taxa were identified in 7 phyla and 27

families, with 36 identified to species level (including 15 species of polychaetes, 10 crustaceans,

8 mollusks, and 3 sipunculid worms). Annelida were the numerically dominant group

(phylum), in terms of species composition (40 percent) and abundance (42.7 percent).

Crustaceans accounted for the second highest species composition (38.2 percent) and

abundance (39.1 percent), followed by mollusks (12.7 percent and 8.7 percent, respectively) and

other taxa (collectively 9.1 percent and 9.5 percent, respectively) (Figure 6-14).



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Abundance of Major Taxonomic Groups Identified in 2016 EBS



Source: FUGRO EMU Limited, 2016



Table 6-14 identifies the common macrofauna families identified in the 2014 and 2016 studies.

As the 2014 survey did not categorize the macrofauna organisms beyond the family level, the

commonalities between the 2014 and 2016 surveys were identified based on equivalent families.

Both surveys characterized the surveyed area to have a diverse macrofauna community, with

polychaete worms as the most abundant major taxonomic group. The 2014 survey additionally

recognized that overall macrofaunal abundance within the surveyed area is at the lower end of

the macrofaunal densities reported for continental slope sediments around the world (Rowe et

al. 1982; Flach et al., 1999). The 2016 survey similarly reported that numbers identified in all

taxonomic groups were low.

Table 6-14



List of Common Macrofauna Families between the 2014 and 2016 Environmental

Survey Reports



Phylum

Annelida



Class

Polychaeta



Order

Sabellida



Family

Oweniidae



Annelida



Polychaeta



Spionida



Spionidae



Annelida



Polychaeta



Spionida



Magelonidae



Annelida



Polychaeta



Terebellida



Cirratulidae



Annelida



Polychaeta



Terebellida



Ampharetidae



Annelida



Polychaeta



Not assigned



Orbiniidae



Annelida



Polychaeta



Not assigned



Paraonidae



Annelida



Polychaeta



Not assigned



Capitellidae



Annelida



Polychaeta



Not assigned



Maldanidae



Annelida



Polychaeta



Not assigned



Opheliidae



Annelida



Polychaeta



Phyllodocida



Phyllodocidae



Annelida



Polychaeta



Not assigned



Orbiniidae



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Phylum

Annelida



Class

Polychaeta



Order

Eunicida



Family

Lumbrineridae



Annelida



Polychaeta



Eunicida



Onuphidae



Arthropoda



Malacostraca



Cumacea



Unidentified



Arthropoda



Malacostraca



Tanaidacea



Apseudidae



Mollusca



Scaphopoda



Dentaliida



Dentaliidae



Nematoda



Unidentified



Unidentified



Unidentified



Sipuncula



Sipunculidea



Golfingiiformes



Unidentified



Sipuncula



Sipunculidea



Golfingiiformes



Golfingiidae



Sipuncula



Sipunculidea



Golfingiiformes



Phascolionidae



Notes: The term “not assigned” references that the scientific community has not specifically classified the organism to

a given categorization. The term “unidentified” refers to the surveyor’s inability to further identity the categorization

of an organism.



Figure 6-15 depicts some of the benthic fauna detected during the 2014 environmental survey.



Figure 6-15



Benthos Photographed in the Vicinity of the Liza-1 Well



Source: Maxon Consulting, Inc. and TDI Brooks International, Inc., 2014



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Both surveys reported that there was not a strong correlation between macrofaunal

communities or number of species and any single parameter such as sediment characteristics or

water depth.

The results of the seabed photography sediment and faunal data review showed the survey area

primarily consists of one broad benthic habitat type: sublittoral sediment (EUNIS15 code A5).

This marine benthic habitat can encompass a wide range of sediments from boulders and

cobbles, through pebbles and shingles, coarse sands, sands, fine sands, muds, and mixed

sediments (Davies et al., 2004). Each sediment type hosts characteristic biological communities,

which together define biotopes. Within the sublittoral sediment habitat, one biotope was

identified: circa-littoral sandy mud (A5.35) with aspects of deep sea mud. Benthic epifauna

were scarcely observed in the photographs taken. Figure 6-16 provides representative

photographs of the circa-littoral sandy mud biotope taken from five of the 2016 sample stations.

Epifauna were sparse in the photographs taken, but evidence of habitation by tube building

polychaetes (possibly Sabellidae and Terebellidae), burrowing shrimp, and foraminifera can be

observed in all of the images of the seafloor. Mud shrimp burrows were evident in most

photographs, and some photographs showed other taxa including tusk shells, gastropods, and

hydroids.



The European Nature Information System (EUNIS) is a habitat classification system developed by the European

Environment Agency (EEA) in collaboration with international experts. The EUNIS includes all types of natural and

artificial habitats, both aquatic and terrestrial.

15



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Representative Photographs of the Circa-Littoral Sandy Mud Biotope

Photographed in the Vicinity of the Liza-1 Well



Source: FUGRO EMU Limited, 2016

Photo A: Station NC21_BCE002; Mud, tube building polychaetes and amphipods, mud shrimp burrows, Scaphopoda

(tusk shells), gastropods, foraminiferans

Photo B: Station NC21_BCE004; Sandy Mud, tube building polychaetes and amphipods, mud shrimp burrows,

foraminiferans. Unidentified hydroid

Photo C: Station NC21_BCE005 Sandy Mud, tube building polychaetes and amphipods, foraminiferans, Scaphopoda

Photo D: Station NC21_BCE024 Sandy Mud, tube building polychaetes and amphipods, foraminiferans

Photo E: Station NC21_BCE025; Muddy Sand, Sabellids and other tube building polychaetes, mud shrimp burrows,

foraminiferans



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6.3 Socioeconomic Resources

This section describes the existing socioeconomic characteristics of the Project AOI. It was

developed based on secondary information contained in Project-related materials; socioeconomic reports and data obtained through government entities and other stakeholders; and

other relevant data received from public sources. It is also based on information obtained

directly from key informant interviews with members of national, regional, and local

governments; civil societies and non-governmental organizations (NGOs); local community

members; and other Project stakeholders. Specific stakeholder engagement information can be

found in Section 4.5.



6.3.1 Administrative Divisions in Guyana

Guyana is divided administratively into 10 regions, pictured on Figure 6-17. These regions are

further subdivided into Neighborhood Democratic Councils (NDCs), of which there are 65 in

total. Within the NDCs are villages, the smallest administrative unit. In addition, there is one

city that serves as the capital (Georgetown) and nine townships. Four of these townships were

designated as new townships by the Ministry of Communities in 2015 as part of an

administrative decentralization effort. Each of the nine townships has its own mayor and

council, and is intended to serve as an administrative hub for government services, such as

passports and driver’s licenses, as well as providing utilities and public services, such as water

and sanitation, as well as other services such as banking.



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Guyana’s Administrative Regions and Townships



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6.3.2 Population Distribution

Most of Guyana’s population is located in the six coastal regions, and, according to the 2012

national census, nearly half of the country’s population lives in Region 4 (Demerara-Mahaica),

which includes the capital city of Georgetown. Table 6-15 summarizes the distribution of

population within the 10 regions in 2012, the last year for which complete census data are

available.

Table 6-15



Regional Population Distribution in Guyana



Region



1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10



Barima-Waini

Pomeroon – Supenaam

Essequibo Islands - West

Demerara

Demerara-Mahaica

Mahaica – Berbice

East Berbice – Corentyne

Cuyuni-Mazaruni

Potaro – Siparuni

Upper Takutu - Upper

Essequibo

Upper Demerara – Berbice

Guyana



Population

2002



Population

2012

27,643

46,810

107,785



Population

change since

2002

+13.9%

-5.0%

+4.6%



Percent of

Guyana’s Total

Population

3.7%

6.3%

14.4%



24,275

49,253

103,061

310,320

52,428

123,695

17,597

10,095

19,387



311,563

49,820

109,652

18,375

11,077

24,238



+0.4%

-5.0%

-11.4%

+4.4%

+9.7%

+25.0%



41.7%

6.7%

14.7%

2.5%

1.5%

3.2%



41,112

748,084



39,992

746,955



-2.7%

-0.6%



5.3%

100.0%



Source: Bureau of Statistics Guyana, 2012; Bureau of Statistics Guyana, 2002.

Note: Each region’s change in population should be weighted based on that region’s percent of the total population, so the sum of

population changes in each region do not add up to the total national population change.



6.3.2.1 Ethnic Composition

Data from the 2012 census indicate that the majority of the country’s population are

representatives of two ethnic groups, those of East Indian descent (39.8 percent) and those of

African descent (29.3 percent). These are followed by populations of mixed ethnicity (19.9

percent) and indigenous peoples who, in Guyana, are referred to as Amerindians (10.5 percent).

Other ethnicities, including Chinese, White, and Portuguese, collectively make up less than one

percent of the population.

Figure 6-18 shows the ethnic composition of each region and indicates notable differences

between interior and coastal regions and between regions that are highly rural versus more

urban. The more populated and urban Regions 3, 4, 5, and 6 are dominated by populations of

East Indian and African descent, followed by populations of mixed ethnicity. Amerindian

population numbers in these regions are low. However, the majority of population residing in

the more remote and rural Regions 1, 8, and 9 is of Amerindian ethnicity.



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Regional Distribution of Ethnicity, 2012



African/Black



Amerindian



Chinese



East Indian



Mixed



Portuguese



White



Other



Total

Region 10

Region 9

Region 8

Region 7

Region 6

Region 5

Region 4

Region 3

Region 2

Region 1

0%



10%



20%



30%



40%



50%



60%



70%



80%



90%



100%



Source: Bureau of Statistics Guyana, 2012



6.3.2.2 Indigenous Peoples

Amerindians in Guyana numbered 78,492 as of the 2012 census, and their population is on the

rise, with growth of 12.8 percent seen in the period 2002-2012.

According to Minority Rights Group International (2008), there are nine main Amerindian

groups in Guyana, of which three are coastal: the Carib, Warao, and Arawak tribes. Other

groups tend to inhabit the country’s hinterland regions. Many of the Amerindians in Guyana,

particularly in the coastal area, have undergone cultural integration with the general population

and share much of the same culture as the Afro- and Indo-Guyanese population. However, as a

whole, the standard of living for the Amerindian population in Guyana is lower than for the

general population, particularly for those in remote areas where provision of infrastructure and

services is a challenge. The distribution of Amerindian population among the regions is shown

on Figure 6-19.



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Amerindian Population by Region, 2012



Region 1,

17,846



Region 9,

20,808



Region 2, 8,834

Region 8,

8,009

Region 3, 2,820

Region 4, 7,066



Region 7, 6,833

Region 6, 1,801



Region 5, 1,270



Source: Bureau of Statistics Guyana, 2012



The coastal plain of Region 1 and part of Region 2 are not accessible by road and therefore

Amerindian communities in these areas are remote and are generally underserved by public

infrastructure and services. These populations make use of a range of coastal resources for

subsistence and livelihoods. Communities that are directly adjacent to the coast are the titled

community of Three Brothers along the Waini River, directly inland from Shell Beach, and the

non-titled communities within the SBPA (Almond Beach, Father’s Beach and Unity Grant).

Titled indigenous communities located 5-10 km inland from the coast in Regions 1 and 2 are

Santa Rosa, Waramuri, Manawurin, Assakata and Wakapau. In the SBPA, fishing and crabbing

activity is particularly active at the westernmost end of Shell Beach, at the mouth of the Waini

River. At the eastern end of Shell Beach in the community of Father’s Beach, there are coconut

plantations used for manufacturing oil, and just northwest of this is a forested area where

hunting, trapping, fishing, crabbing, crabwood seed harvesting, and lumbering occurs

(Protected Areas Commission, 2015).

In Regions 3 and 4, titled indigenous communities are located inland and not within the coastal

plain.



6.3.3 Education

The education system in Guyana is similar to that of other Caribbean countries, with school

being compulsory from ages of 5 to 16 through pre-primary, primary, and secondary schools.

The federal Ministry of Education controls education budgets, policies, and standards and

administers these by region. In 2012, the government spent 3.2 percent of GDP on the education

sector (CIA World Factbook, 2016). Between the years of 2008 and 2012, the youth (15-24 years)

literacy rate was 93.7 percent and 92.4 percent for females and males, respectively. Pre-primary

and primary school gross enrollment averaged from 83.7 percent to 88.7 percent depending



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upon grade and gender, with male youth averaging a few percentage points lower than female

youth. Secondary school net enrollment was 80.6 percent and 71.2 percent for female and male

youth, respectively (UNICEF, 2016).

At the time of writing, the 2012 census compendium on social indicators had yet to be released.

Therefore, the only reliable data on educational attainment at the regional level are from the

2002 census compendium, which shows that Region 1 had the highest percentages of male

youth (10.9 percent) and female youth (15.3 percent) with either no schooling or Kindergarten

level only, with Regions 8 and 9 only a few percentage points higher. In Regions 2 and 3, the

percentage of all youth with either no schooling or Kindergarten level only ranged between 2

percent and 4 percent. Region 4 and Region 10 had the highest level of enrollment across all

levels (Guyana Bureau of Statistics, 2002).

The levels of primary education for the indigenous population are typically lower than nonindigenous groups of the population. In the Amerindian communities, the attendance rate at

primary schools has been reported to be 50 percent lower than average. This is partly

attributable to a shortage of teachers, and standardized teaching methods and curriculum

which limits appreciation for indigenous culture and values. While access to education in

Amerindian communities continues to be limited, the stated government policy is to provide

indigenous children with the same educational opportunities available to the rest of the

population (Minority Rights International, 2008).



6.3.4 Land Use

Guyana is divided into the following three main geographic zones:











The low-lying coastal plain occupying about 5 percent of the country’s land area, which

ranges from approximately 5 km to 6.5 km (~3 to 4 mi) wide along the coast;

The “white sand belt”, a largely vegetated zone dominated by white sandy soils lying

inland from the coastal zone, ranging from approximately 150 km to 250 km (~93 mi to 155

mi) wide and containing most of the country’s mineral deposits; and

The interior highlands that extend from the white sand belt to the country’s southern

borders and makes up the largest land area in the country.



As described above, Guyana is a sparsely populated country, with the majority of the

population concentrated in the coastal plain region. In 2012, the cultivated area in Guyana was

estimated at 1,107,000 acres. Cultivated land is also concentrated in the coastal plain, where the

majority of the population resides (FAO, 2015). Figure 6-20 shows land cover in the coastal and

white sand belt areas. In the coastal plain areas, cultivated areas are evident in Regions 2, 3, and

4 (southeast of SBPA) and occur to a lesser extent in Region 1 (including SBPA). The landscape

in these areas is dominated by sugar, rice, and coconut plantations, interspersed with smaller

scale establishments of non-traditional crops and livestock.



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Figure 6-20



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Land Cover in Coastal Guyana



Source: ERM, 2014 and CCI, 2012



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The SBPA is a notable feature in the coastal area. It was designated a Protected Area with the

passage of the Protected Areas Act of 2011, and is the only Protected Area on Guyana’s coast.

More information on the SBPA is provided in Section 6.2.2.



6.3.4.1 Land Ownership

The pattern of land ownership in Guyana today is approximately 85% government-owned,

approximately 14 percent Amerindian-owned, and one to two percent privately owned. There

are two land markets: one consisting of freehold properties and one consisting of the lease of

state-owned land. Amerindian lands are owned collectively and are not subject to transfer or

sale. Approximately half of the farms in the coastal area are freehold properties and these tend

to be small properties of 5-15 acres each (Government of Guyana, 1997). Leases of governmentowned lands are issued by the Guyana Lands and Surveys Commission (GLSC).

According to a study of the land registration system in Guyana conducted by the InterAmerican Development Bank (IDB), the country’s dual property registration system (title

registration and deed registration) has regulations that overlap and conflict, and is considered

complex and bureaucratic. The systems are also considered ineffective in managing and

enforcing rights. As a result, a large number of land owners do not register their properties or

do not keep their ownership rights up to date (IDB, 2010).



6.3.5 Economy

Guyana’s nominal GDP in 2015 was $653.8 billion GYD, or approximately $3.2 billion U.S.

dollars (USD). The per capita GDP in 2015 was $761,000 GYD, or approximately $3,700 USD

(BSG, 2016), and it was reclassified by the World Bank from a lower middle income to an upper

middle income country in 2016 (World Bank, 2016). Guyana’s main sectors by contribution to

GDP are summarized in Table 6-16.

Table 6-16



Economic Sectors and Contribution to GDP, 2015



Sector



Percent of GDP



Agriculture, Fishing and Forestry

Wholesale and Retail Trade



19.2%

12.3%



Transportation and Storage

Mining and Quarrying

Construction

Manufacturing

Public Administration

Information and Communication



11.2%

10.9%

9.8%

7.4%

7.2%

7.0%



Financial and Insurance Activities

Education

Other Services

Health and Social Services

Real Estate



5.0%

4.5%

3.9%

2.0%

1.2%



Source: PSC, 2015

Note: Percentages add to more than 100 due to rounding.



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Guyana relies heavily on trade, with exports totaling $238.3 billion GYD ($1.15 billion USD) in

2015, up from $183.3 billion GYD ($884.9 million USD) in 2010 (Guyana Bureau of Statistics,

2015). The main export products for the country are sugar, rice, bauxite, gold, forest products,

and fish (FAO, 2015). Sectors that are uniquely tied to the coastal environment in Guyana, as

well as the mining sector, are described in further detail below.



6.3.5.1 Agriculture

According to the Private Sector Commission, Guyana has a relatively strong agricultural sector

and is the only net exporter of food in the Caribbean. In 2015, agriculture, fishing and forestry

accounted for 19.2 percent of the country’s GDP, or $73.9 billion GYD (approximately $356.7

million USD).

Rice

Rice farming is the predominant agricultural activity in the coastal areas of Regions 2 and 3,

accounting for an estimated 85 percent of the overall economy in Region 2, and 55 to 60 percent

of the economy in Region 3 (ERM Personal Communication 1). Rice fields dominate the

landscape in many coastal areas in these regions (Figure 6-21).

Figure 6-21



Rice Field in Region 2 Pomeroon-Supenaam



The rice sector yield grew by 8.3 percent in 2015 (see Figure 6-22). However, the first half of

2016 has seen a decline in yields attributed to El Niño-related dry weather, as well as an early

arrival of the rainy season (Ministry of Finance, 2016).



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Figure 6-22



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Annual Rice Production, 2011-2015

800,000

700,000

600,000



Tonnes



500,000

400,000

300,000

200,000

100,000

0

2011



2012



2013



2014



2015



Source: Private Sector Commission 2015



According to the president of the Guyana Rice Producers’ Association, industrial rice

production requires the ability to precisely control water levels in the rice fields. The rice

growers in coastal Guyana achieve this by operating two separate systems of canals, one

dedicated to irrigation and another dedicated to drainage. The irrigation canals convey fresh

water from water conservancies via gravity to the rice fields. The rice fields are contained

within a dike system that has separate gates for irrigation and drainage systems. The fields

drain to a separate network of canals that were constructed to provide general drainage to the

surrounding coastal landscape (ERM Personal Communication 1). These canals drain to the

Atlantic Ocean via manually-operated mechanical sluice gates (locally called kokers; see Figure

6-23). The drainage canals are generally constructed at or very near sea level to achieve the

gradient necessary for drainage of the surrounding landscape and can therefore be tidally

influenced, but the kokers control inflow from the sea. This system ensures that the rice fields

remain upgradient of tidally influenced water in the drainage canals and prevents salt water

from intruding into the fields (ERM Personal Communication 1).



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Figure 6-23



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Sluice Gate (Koker) in Charity (Region 2) at High Tide



Note: Seawater seeping into drainage canal from ocean through closed gate.



Sugar

Figure 6-24 shows an aerial view of sugar plantations in Region 2. Sugar production increased

in 2014 and 2015 after being in decline in previous years (Figure 6-25). According to Guyana

Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo), the national sugar company, sugar production employs 18,000

people in Guyana and accounts for 40 percent of the country’s agricultural production.

GuySuCo’s Demerara sugar is exported to markets in the European Union, the U.S., and

CARICOM countries.



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Figure 6-24



Aerial View of Sugar Plantations in Region 2



Figure 6-25



Annual Sugar Production, 2011-2015

250,000



Tonnes



200,000



150,000



100,000



50,000



0

2011



2012



2013



Source: Private Sector Commission 2015



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Coconut

The coconut industry in Guyana has grown in recent years (Figure 6-26) and shows potential for

continued growth due to high international demand for products such as coconut oil and

coconut water. It ranks third after rice and sugar in terms of acreage cultivated and is grown

primarily in the coastal regions, including along the Pomeroon River and the Essequibo Coast

in Region 2. According to recent news media articles, the amount of land in the Pomeroon area

being converted to coconut cultivation is increasing (Guyana Chronicle, 2016; Stabroek News,

2016).

Figure 6-26



Annual Coconut Production, 2011-2015

100,000

90,000

80,000

Metric tonnes



70,000

60,000

50,000

40,000

30,000

20,000

10,000

0

2011



2012



2013



2014



2015



Source: Ministry of Agriculture, 2016a



Other Cash Crops

Non-traditional crops (crops other than sugar cane and rice) grown in Guyana include: tubers

such as cassava, sweet potato, and eddo; vegetables such as eggplant, pumpkin, and okra;

spices such as hot peppers, sweet peppers, and ginger; and fruits including banana, papaya,

mango, and pineapple. Data from the Ministry of Agriculture (2016a) show that production for

most tuber and vegetable crops has increased in recent years, while yields for fruits have been

more variable, with some fruit crops showing declines from 2014 to 2015.

Value-added Agricultural Products

According to various interviewed stakeholders, establishment of manufacturing operations to

develop value-added products such as pepper sauce, beverages, and canned fruit are priorities

at both community and strategic policy levels (ERM Personal Communications 5, 10, 14, and

15). A number of agricultural co-ops in Regions 2 and 3 have achieved varying levels of success

in producing and marketing such products. National-level agencies such as the Ministry of



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Agriculture and the Private Sector Commission emphasize the importance of developing

markets for such products to provide better stability and security to farmers. However, there

are a number of challenges associated with this, including high energy costs, difficulty locating

or establishing markets for products, and obtaining financing for start-up costs.



6.3.5.2 Fisheries and Aquaculture

Marine Fisheries

There are four main types of marine fisheries in Guyana (MOA, 2013) that can be defined by the

species targeted, gear types used, and the depth of water where the fishery takes place. Table 617 summarizes the characteristics of these fisheries.

Table 6-17



Primary Characteristics of Marine Fisheries in Guyana



Type of Fishery

Industrial



Species

Seabob, shrimps, and prawns



Semi-industrial

Artisanal



Red snapper and vermillion

snapper

Mixed fish and shrimp



Shark



Various



Gear

Trawls



Depth

Primarily between 13-16 m,

but can occur from 0-75 m

Fish traps and lines Edge of continental shelf

Gillnets, seines, and 0–18 m

others

Trawls, gillnets,

Throughout the continental

and hook and line shelf waters



Note: “Whitebelly” identified in Figure 6-27 is a species of shrimp and is included in the artisanal shrimp fishery.



According to data from the Private Sector Commission (PSC) and the Ministry of Agriculture,

fishery yields declined between 2014 and 2015. The PSC attributes this to El Niño-related

weather phenomena, while the Ministry of Finance characterizes this as part of a longer-term

decline caused by unsustainable overfishing, including illegal fishing by foreign vessels

(Ministry of Finance, 2015). Fishing interests and the Fisheries Department personnel also

acknowledged the prevalence of illegal fishing by both foreign and domestic vessels, but did

not specifically implicate illegal fishing in the recent declines (ERM Personal Communications

2, 14, 15, and 16).

Fishing catches for 2007 to 2015 are shown on Figure 6-27. The data indicate a declining trend

for fish and seabob shrimp catches in recent years, although the recent decline follows an

increasing trend for 2010 through 2014. The prawn industry has been voluntarily scaled back in

response to limited catches resulting from overfishing in previous years, with approximately 15

Guyanese-registered boats in operation in 2016. Prawn fishing boats operate from the coast out

to about 40 fathoms (ERM Personal Communication 2).



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Figure 6-27



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Commercial Fisheries Catch Volumes, 2007-2015

Total



Finfish (Artisanal)



Finfish (Industrial)



Prawns



Red Snapper



Seabob



30000



60000



25000



50000



20000



40000



15000



30000



10000



20000



5000



10000



0



Total in Metric Tonnes



Species in Metric Tonnes



Whitebelly



0

2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015



Source: Ministry of Agriculture, 2016a



The industrial seabob shrimp sector continues to be an important commercial fishery for

Guyana, and industry leaders are currently in the process of applying for Marine Sustainability

Council (MSC) certification (an internationally recognized voluntary process used to assess and

certify the sustainability of wild capture marine and freshwater species). The seabob fleet

currently operates under a voluntary management plan (the only fishery-specific management

plan for fisheries operating in Guyana’s territorial waters) that calls for a seven-week-long

closed season each year. Seabob sector representatives expect the management plan to be

adopted by the government and made compulsory in the near future (ERM Personal

Communication 2).

Aquaculture

According to data from the Ministry of Agriculture, the main species produced in aquaculture

establishments are the fish bashaw, hassar, mullet, querriman, tambaqui, tilapia, and black

shrimp. Data show that tilapia once dominated aquacultural yields, but have declined in

production, while yields of tambaqui and black shrimp have increased considerably in recent

years. The total yield of aquaculture product has been variable in the period from 2009-2015 for

which data are available (Figure 6-28).



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Figure 6-28



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Fish Yields from Aquaculture, 2009-2015



Source: Ministry of Agriculture, 2016a



According to the president of the National Aquaculture Association, aquaculture is still a small

industry in Guyana. Establishments are typically set up in abandoned rice fields. By using the

same water supply and drainage configuration used for rice production, the aquaculture

operations avoid dependency on brackish water and can raise freshwater species despite their

coastal locations. Freshwater species currently being raised in rehabilitated rice fields include

hassa, arapaima, tilapia, and tobaki (pacu) (ERM Personal Communication 18).



6.3.5.3 Mining and Quarrying

The mining sector is an important sector for Guyana and contributed to over half of exports in

2015 (Guyana Bureau of Statistics, 2015). Most notably, raw gold, bauxite and diamonds

equated to 43.5 percent, 9.1 percent, and 1.5 percent, respectively, of export totals in 2015. The

Guyana Geology and Mines Commission estimated that in 2010, mining and quarrying

accounted for 9 percent of GDP, and employed over 11,000 persons directly and almost 14,000

indirectly (GGMC, 2010). Due in large part to the mining sector, Guyana’s economy in recent

years has reflected the path of global commodity prices. Real GDP growth decelerated to 3.8

percent in 2014 and to 3.0 percent in 2015, as global commodity prices collapsed for Guyana’s

major mining exports (World Bank, 2016).



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6.3.5.4 Manufacturing

Manufacturing contributed 7.4 percent of GDP in 2015 and grew by 5.3 percent from 2014 to

2015. The most important products in terms of volume include laundry soap, detergent, paints,

putty, whitewash, oxygen, and acetylene, as well as edible goods including rice, sugar, and rum

(PSC, 2015). Many of the country’s manufacturing facilities are located in coastal areas (UNDP,

2005).



6.3.5.5 Tourism

According to the World Travel and Tourism Council, tourism contributed 3.3 percent to the

country’s GDP in 2015. Although most tourism infrastructure (e.g., hotels) is located in the most

populated townships such as Georgetown, Linden, and Berbice, many of Guyana’s tourist

attractions are located in the country’s hinterland. These attractions offer nature, culture, and

adventure-based experiences such as trips to waterfalls and Amerindian villages, which range

from same-day to multiple night excursions.

Guyana is not a popular destination for cruise ships and receives only a few small ships each

year. The country does not have the berthing capacity for large cruise ships (ERM Personal

Communication 3).

Deposition of sediment from the mouth of the Amazon River along Guyana’s coast means that

there are few beach offerings for tourists. The highly turbid water along the coast also likely

contributes to the relatively small numbers of tourists that visit Guyana relative to other

locations with clearer water in the region. Some tourism occurs at the SBPA during the sea

turtle nesting season, but because infrastructure and systems have not yet been established to

facilitate travel or provide convenient accommodations, this number is limited. In general,

however, Guyana is thought to have considerable ecotourism potential, and development of

tourism infrastructure at the country’s Protected Areas is considered a key part of the Protected

Areas Commission’s current strategic plan (PAC, 2016).

Data from the Department of Tourism indicate that the number of international visitors to

Guyana has doubled since the early 2000s (see Figure 6-29), with the largest number of visitors

originating from the United States, followed by the Caribbean, Canada, and Central and South

America. Because the majority of visitors consist of Guyanese expatriates returning to visit

family, visitor numbers peak during the summer vacation (July and August) and key holidays

(e.g., Christmas in December). According to representatives of the Department of Tourism,

increases in tourism in recent years are also attributable to increased hosting of regional

sporting tournaments, particularly cricket events, in the Georgetown area. This has brought

many international visitors, particularly those from the Caribbean. During major events such as

the Cricket World Cup, traffic congestion beyond the norm was observed in the Georgetown

area (ERM Personal Communication 3).



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Figure 6-29



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Annual International Visitors to Guyana, 2000-2015

250,000



Number of visitors



200,000

150,000

100,000

50,000



2015



2014



2013



2012



2011



2010



2009



2008



2007



2006



2005



2004



2003



2002



2001



2000



0



Source: Department of Tourism, 2016



Most of the major tourist attractions in Guyana, such as museums, the zoo, parks, public

gardens, and the Stabroek Market, are located in Georgetown. Georgetown and surrounding

areas are known for their many historic buildings, which date from the late eighteenth century

through the mid-nineteenth century, when Guyana was first a Dutch colony and then an

English colony (National Trust of Guyana, 2009). Guided tours of Georgetown’s historic

buildings and sites are available, as are guided tours of attractions such as the Essequibo River,

the El Dorado Rum Factory, and the Georgetown City Centre.



6.3.6 Employment and Livelihoods

Results of the most recent national census indicate that 87.5 percent of the labor force was

employed and 12.5 percent was unemployed at this time (2012). Data from the previous census

in 2002 indicate that the unemployment rate did not change in this 10-year period (BSG 2012;

BSG 2002).

In 2012, the unemployment rate in Region 1 was the highest in the country at 19.3 percent of the

labor force. Region 2 had the lowest rate of unemployment in the country at this time, at 10.6

percent. Regions 3 and 4 had rates of 11.8 percent and 11.3 percent, respectively.

Statistics from the 2012 census indicate that 23.0 percent of the employed population 15 years of

age and over in Region 1, 27.9 percent in Region 2, and 18.8 percent in Region 3 had occupations

in the Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishing industry group in 2012 (BSG, 2016). This was the

industry group employing the largest number of workers in Regions 2 and 3, while, in Region 1,

this group was second to Mining and Quarrying. After the Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing

category, Mining and Quarrying employed the second largest group of people in Region 2 (14.9

percent), while in Region 3, Construction employed the second largest number of workers (12.1

percent). It should be noted that the Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishing industry group, and the



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primary sector16 in general, is dominated by male workers, with female workers making up less

than ten percent of the workers employed in this industry group in these regions.

Census data show that tertiary (service) sector jobs such as wholesale and retail trade, public

administration, and accommodation and food services are dominant in Region 4 (including

Georgetown), making up 67.0 percent of jobs there . Female representation in this sector is high,

with women making up 48.2 percent of workers in the sector (BSG, 2016). Secondary and

primary sector jobs make up 21.0 percent and 12.0 percent of employment in Region 4.

The issues facing indigenous groups of Guyana are typically related to lack of empowerment

and inclusion into the mainstream economy. The standard of living for the indigenous minority

of Guyana continues to be lower than that of the majority of the country's citizens. A larger

proportion of the Amerindian population is classified as socioeconomically disadvantaged

(Minority Rights Group International, 2008), with the lack of formal employment opportunities

as a significant contributing factor. Income generation opportunities in the indigenous coastal

communities of Regions 1 and 2 are scarce and include heart of palm harvesting and the

wildlife trade, including sale of aquarium fish (IDB, 2007). In the past, the Region 2 village of

Mainstay operated an organic pineapple farm and processing facility; however, the plant was

shut down several years ago (ERM Personal Communication 4). Some residents of Region 1 and

2 indigenous communities also work in mining and logging camps in the hinterland (IDB,

2007).



6.3.6.1 Fishing

Fishing along the Guyanese coast varies in scale and type. At the easternmost end of Region 2,

fishing occurs at a relatively small scale, and catch is typically sold locally at roadside stands or

out of vehicles (See Figure 6-30). Boats venture only a few kilometers out from the coastline, and

fisherfolk typically only go out for the day. Species caught include catfish, bangamary, and

bashaw (ERM Personal Communication 19). Farther west in Region 2 at Lima, larger scale

fishing is practiced about 8 km (~5 mi) offshore. Small artisanal boats are still used because the

coastal mudflats in this area do not allow for the use of larger boats. Fisherfolk go out for 10-12

days at a time and fish for snapper, snook, trout, wrasse, patwa, catfish, bangamary, and

butterfish. Some fish are sold locally, while others are sold wholesale for resale in Georgetown

(ERM Personal Communications 16, 20, and 21) (see Figure 6-31). There are no landing areas for

commercial fishing vessels in Region 1; small scale fishing activity occurs along the Region 1

coast and is primarily for subsistence. Fishing yields vary by season, with interviewed fisherfolk

reporting the highest yields in June through August. From September to January, catches are at

their lowest due to high winds.



According to the BSG, the primary sector industries (e.g., agriculture, fishing, forestry, and mining) make direct use

of natural resources and include the production of raw materials and basic foods. The secondary sector is engaged in

manufacturing using raw products from the primary sector and includes processing, construction, textile production,

brewing and bottling, etc. The tertiary sector provides services to the general population and businesses, including

retail and wholesale trade, transportation and distribution, entertainment, tourism, healthcare, etc.

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Figure 6-30



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Salted Fish Drying Outside a Fisherperson’s Home in Region 2



Source: ERM, 2016



Figure 6-31



Fresh Fish Being Sold at Stabroek Market in Georgetown



Source: ERM, 2016



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Challenges for the Fishing Industry

When asked about changes in fishing yields over the years, responses from artisanal Region 2

fisherfolk varied, with most reporting no noticeable change in catch volume. However, a

fisherman with a relatively large-scale operation of three boats operating out of Charity stated

that catches are declining and attributed this to an over-allocation of fishing licenses by the

government (ERM Personal Communication 17). As indicated in Section 6.3.3, annual yields in

the fishery sector have declined in the last four years for fish, and three of the last four years for

seabob, although seabob yields recovered slightly between 2014 and 2015. Although there are

no data available to quantify the impact of Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated (IUU)17 fishing

in Guyana, its role in threatening sustainability of the country’s fishery is considered to be

significant (Ministry of Finance, 2015; Ministry of Agriculture, 2016b).

Another challenge faced by fisherfolk is piracy. Most of the fisherfolk interviewed by ERM in

Region 2 have been victimized by pirates at some time. This typically consists of the theft of

boats and/or engines, and fisherfolk are sometimes assaulted in these confrontations. Most

respondents perceived that piracy had gone down in the last 5 or 10 years. Some implicated the

recent establishment of a Coast Guard Station at the mouth of the Pomeroon River as having

influenced the decrease in piracy. Of those who have encountered pirates, they were typically

unsure of their assailants’ nationality, but speculated that they could be Venezuelan, Guyanese,

Surinamese, or a mixed group from different countries.

The dynamic accretion and erosion of the Guyanese coastline as a result of natural forces can

also pose challenges for fisherfolk. During the August/September 2016 field visit, ERM

personnel observed considerable mudflat and beach accretion at most coastal access points

along the Region 2 coast, which prevents fisherfolk from landing their boats in some areas

(Figure 6-32).



IUU fishing takes place where vessels operate in violation of the laws of a fishery. This can apply to fisheries that

are under the jurisdiction of a coastal state or to high seas fisheries regulated by regional organizations.

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Figure 6-32



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Fishing Boat Landed on a Coastal Mudflat in Region 2, September 2016



Source: ERM, 2016



6.3.6.2 Farming and Agricultural Processing

As discussed above, agriculture is a major livelihood activity in Region 2. Rice farming

dominates agricultural production in Region 2, but other crops, such as red beans, plantains,

bananas, eggplants, and other vegetables, are grown on a smaller scale in Region 2 as well. Most

households also raise livestock, such as cattle, hogs, poultry, and small ruminants. The

Amerindian community of Mainstay, located approximately 6 km (~3.5 mi) from the coast in

Region 2, is known for its organic pineapples, which for a number of years were processed into

canned chunks for export to European markets (ERM Personal Communication 4). As discussed

above, coconut cultivation is becoming increasingly popular in the Pomeroon area as demand

for coconut water and other value-added coconut products continues to grow. A number of

farms produce coconut water for export to Trinidad and Tobago, while others produce coconut

oil. A group established in 2001, the Pomeroon Women’s Agro-Processors Association, also

produces a number of value-added products, including virgin coconut oil, pepper sauce,

cooking sauce, wine, and carambola cake mix (ERM Personal Communication 5).

In the Amerindian communities of Region 1, agricultural activities occur on a small scale and

include cultivation of tubers, corn, cucumber, eggplant, ginger, peppers, plantains, bananas,

watermelon, beans, okra, pumpkin, and coconut. At least one community engages in cassava

processing, including cassava bread, starch, and cassareep (Protected Areas Commission, 2014).



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Challenges for Farmers and Agricultural Processors

Climate change is perceived as a challenge for some agricultural producers. For example,

changes in sunshine and rain patterns are thought to have contributed to decreased pineapple

yields in recent years (ERM Personal Communication 4). Sea level rise potentially associated

with climate change is also considered a threat for coastal farmers, given that the coastal plains,

where the majority of the country’s agricultural activity occurs, lies below sea level (ECLAC,

2011). Outside of flood events, saltwater sometimes enters into the irrigation canals through

sluice gates at high tide or up the Pomeroon River during the dry season. This can adversely

impact some crops, such as most vegetables, but may be beneficial to others, such as fruit trees

(ERM Personal Communication 5). As noted above, however, the irrigation canal system for rice

fields and fish farms are separated from the drainage system and draw from the water

conservancies.



6.3.6.3 Speedboat Operation

Guyana’s unique geography means that boating is an important mode of transport for travel

between the coastal regions. Other than air travel, the most rapid and direct means of accessing

Region 2 from the east coast of the Essequibo River is by speedboat, though a ferry service is

also available. Speedboat operators servicing the route between Parika in Region 3 and

Supenaam in Region 2 belong to the Supenaam-Parika Speedboat Owners’ Association, which

currently numbers 91 boats (See Figure 6-33). According to a member of the association, the

majority of customers for this route are business owners, such as shopkeepers who travel to

Georgetown for supplies (ERM Personal Communication 6). Speedboats are also used for

transportation to communities upriver in the Essequibo and Pomeroon Rivers, and to areas of

Regions 1 and 2 that are not accessible by road (i.e., areas west of Charity). More information on

speedboat use in the coastal areas is provided in Section 6.3.8

Figure 6-33



Speedboats Docked in Parika, Region 3



Source: ERM, 2016



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Challenges for Speedboat Operators

Although natural forces (e.g., wind, waves, sea currents, and sediments transported from the

mouth of the Amazon River) create a dynamic and ever-changing coastline, speedboats are

typically able to maneuver through mud and sandbanks where ferries would be unable to

traverse (ERM Personal Communication 6). As a result, there are no notable seasonal factors

that impact business or safety for speedboat operators. However, some stakeholders noted that

along the Pomeroon River where there are many coconut plantations and processing plants, the

practice of discarding coconut shells in the river poses a danger to speedboat operators and

passengers (ERM Personal Communication 5 and ERM Personal Communication 6).



6.3.7 Community Health and Wellbeing

According to the Ministry of Health, health outcomes in Guyana continue to improve steadily,

with life expectancy at birth increasing from 63 years in 1998 to 67 years in 2010 (Ministry of

Health, 2013).



6.3.7.1 Health Status

Causes of Death

The leading causes of mortality in 2010 were chronic diseases, including cardiovascular and

cerebrovascular diseases, cancers, diabetes, and hypertension (Ministry of Health, 2013b).

According to the World Health Organization, Guyana had the highest rate of suicide of any

country in the world in 2015, at 44.2 deaths per 100,000 people, versus the global average of 16

(WHO, 2014). According to Guyana’s Chief Medical Officer, rates are particularly high in

Regions 2, 3, and 6, with the most common method being ingestion of poisons such as

pesticides. No single reason is pinpointed for this phenomenon, but the shortage of mental

health workers and the stigma associated with mental illness leading to untreated depression

are thought to be contributing factors, as well as the ease of access to pesticides and other toxic

agricultural substances (ERM Personal Communication 7).

Burden of Disease

As with many other developing countries, Guyana is undergoing an epidemiological transition

by which non-communicable diseases are beginning to replace communicable diseases as the

leading causes of illness and mortality. This shift is largely due to trends toward more

sedentary occupations and lifestyles, as well as unhealthy diets and habits such as tobacco and

alcohol use. Obesity is on the rise in the country, along with other forms of malnutrition.

Although Guyana is considered self-sufficient for food, accessibility and utilization of the right

types of food to maintain health are of concern, leading the Ministry of Agriculture to develop

the Guyana Food and Nutrition Security Strategy 2011-2020 Plan. This plan aims, among other

things, to integrate agricultural practices with improved food security and nutrition (Ministry of

Health, 2013a).



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Communicable diseases also continue to impact productivity, quality of life, and wellbeing in

Guyana, particularly in the hinterland regions. This is due to a number of interrelated factors

including poverty, nutritional deficiency, and inadequate access to health services.

Malaria is found in much of Guyana and is most prevalent in Regions 1, 7, 8, and 9. Malaria

control efforts, such as distribution of insecticide-treated bed nets and indoor residual

spraying18, have been ongoing in these regions for decades. After an initial reduction in malaria

prevalence in the early 2000s, the number of cases increased from 2007 to 2012. Data indicate a

correlation with mining activities in the hinterland areas, and the country’s Central Vector

Control Service now sends mobile teams to work directly with populations residing in mining

camps (Ministry of Public Health, 2014).

Figure 6-34 shows the number of reported new malaria cases for each region in 2010, the most

recent year for which data are available.

Figure 6-34



Malaria Incidence by Region, 2010

9000



Number of new cases



8000

7000

6000

5000

4000

3000

2000

1000

0

Region Region Region Regions Region Region Region Region Region

1

2

3

4&5

6

7

8

9

10

Source: Ministry of Public Health, 2013b



Dengue fever, chikungunya, lymphatic filariasis, and Zika are also locally transmitted in

Guyana. Unlike malaria, transmission of these diseases tends to be common in populated and

urbanized areas.

Tuberculosis (TB) continues to be a priority health concern in Guyana. It was nearly eradicated

in the 1980s, but saw a resurgence in the 1990s due to its association with the HIV/AIDS

epidemic. In 2010, the national average for TB incidence was nine cases per 10,000 people.

Regional distribution of cases in 2010 is shown on Figure 6-35.



Indoor Residual Spraying involves coating the walls and other surfaces of a house with an insecticide that has

residual activity (i.e., continues to work over several months, killing mosquitos on contact with the sprayed surfaces).

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2012.

18



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Figure 6-35



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TB Incidence Rate by Region, 2010



Cases per 10,000 population



16

14

12

10

8

6

4

2

0



Source: Ministry of Public Health, 2013b



In 2015, the number of people living with HIV in Guyana was estimated at 7,800, and the

prevalence rate in the population aged 15 to 49 was 1.5 percent. According to the Joint United

Nations Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), progress has been made in addressing the HIV

epidemic in the country, with a reduction in the number of HIV cases reported since 2009, as

well as a reduction in the number of AIDS cases (Figure 6-36) and AIDS-related deaths.

Figure 6-36



Annual Number of HIV and AIDS Cases, 2001-2014



Source: UNAIDS, 2015



The Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) lymphatic filariasis and soil-transmitted helminthiasis

continue to be problematic in Guyana, leading to deformity, malnutrition, and social stigma in



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impacted populations. Efforts to combat these diseases in the country include mass drug

administration campaigns and improvements in sanitation in endemic areas.

Maternal and Child Health

Guyana has made improvements in maternal and child health in recent years, but has not

achieved its Millennium Development Goal (MDG) targets of reducing child mortality rates by

two thirds, and maternal mortality ratio by three quarters between 1990 and 2015. Furthermore,

marked disparities exist in rural and hinterland areas, with the rate of under age 5 mortality at

48 per 1,000 live births in rural areas and 11 per 1,000 live births in urban areas (UNICEF, 2014).



6.3.7.2 Health Care System

Government health spending compares favorably with other Latin American and Caribbean

countries, and has averaged about 3 percent of GDP in recent years, equivalent to $11.5 billion

GYD annually ($57.5 million USD) (Ministry of Public Health, 2013b). The healthcare system in

the country is highly decentralized, with Regional Democratic Councils and Regional Health

Authorities managing, financing, and providing health services. The system experiences a

number of challenges related to human resources capacity and infrastructure capacity.

Health Facilities

Health facilities in the coastal regions are summarized in Table 6-18 below. In addition to these

facilities, there is one National Ophthalmology Center and one National Psychiatric Hospital in

the country, both located in Region 6.

Table 6-18

Region



Health Facilities in the Coastal Regions

District

Hospital

4

2

2

1

1



Diagnostic

Center

1

1

1

1



Health Center



Region 1

Region 2

Region 3

Region 4

Region 5



Regional

Hospital

1

1

1

-



4

11

17

39

14



Health

Post

44

17

22

7

1



Region 6



1



3



-



21



2



Source: Ministry of Public Health, 2016



According to Guyana’s Chief Medical Officer, some of the biggest health system shortfalls are

unreliable emergency care services. This includes the lack of a functioning air ambulance

system, which is needed to adequately respond to mining injuries in the country’s interior and

to the large number of vehicle crash injuries. There are also shortages of blood at times, and

capacity in hospitals is inadequate. The public hospital in Georgetown once had 900 beds, but

due to fires and dilapidation over the years, this has been reduced to 450 (ERM Personal

Communication 7).



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Health Human Resources

Retention of health care professionals in Guyana is a challenge, as in many other developing

countries that see emigration of skilled workers to developed countries. The most recent

available statistics from the Ministry of Public Health indicate that there were 6.8 physicians

and 13.3 nurses per 10,000 people in the country in 2010 (Ministry of Public Health, 2013a).

Guyana currently has a Health Human Resource Action Plan for Guyana 2011-2016 that is

aimed at addressing this issue.



6.3.7.3 Quality of Life

Water and Sanitation

According to the most recent Guyana Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS)19, 94 percent of

Guyana’s population had sustainable access to improved drinking water sources 20 as of 2014,

and 95.4 percent used an improved sanitation facility21 (UNICEF, 2014). Figure 6-37 shows the

percentage of the population with access to improved sources of drinking water, by region.

Figure 6-37



Percent of Population with Access to Improved Water Sources by Region, 2014

% of population using improved water

sources



100

90

80

70

60

50

40

30

20

10

0

Region 1



Region 2



Region 3



Region 4



Region 5



Region 6



Source: UNICEF, 2014



The MICS program was developed by UNICEF and serves as an international household survey program to collect

internationally comparable data on a wide range of indicators on the situation of children and women.

20 Improved water sources refer to any of the following types of supply: piped water into dwelling, compound, yard,

to neighbor, or to public tap/standpipe; tube well/borehole; protected well; protected spring; and rainwater

collection. Bottled water is considered as an improved water source only if the household is using an improved water

source for handwashing and cooking.

19



An improved sanitation facility is defined as a facility that flushes or pour-flushes to a piped sewer system, a septic

tank, a pit latrine, a ventilated improved pit latrine, or a pit latrine with slab.

21



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Electricity

Results of the MICS indicate that an estimated 91.2 percent of the coastal population and 56.2

percent of the interior population have access to electricity. Figure 6-38 shows the percent of the

population with electricity in each of the coastal regions.

Figure 6-38



Percent of Population with Electricity by Region, 2014

100

% of population with electricity



90

80

70

60

50

40

30

20

10

0

Region 1



Region 2



Region 3



Region 4



Region 5



Region 6



Source: UNICEF, 2014



Telecommunications

In terms of telecommunications, mobile telephone coverage is quite comparable among coastal

regions, and an average of 88.6 percent of households in the country has at least one member

with a mobile phone. There is more disparity in other forms of telecommunications, with

Region 1 in particular showing lower levels of access to computers, television, and radio relative

to other regions (Figure 6-39).



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Figure 6-39



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Household Access to Telecommunications, 2014

Mobile Phone



Computer



Television



Radio



Region 6

Region 5

Region 4

Region 3

Region 2

Region 1

0



20



40



60



80



100



Source: UNICEF, 2014



6.3.7.4 Natural Hazards

Guyana is not threatened by many natural hazards, but due to its low-lying coastal plain it faces

severe risk of flooding. Both changes in rainfall patterns and predicted sea level rise associated

with climate change pose threats to the Guyanese population and its livelihoods. As such, the

country invests continuously in the construction and maintenance of sea and river defense

infrastructure, as well as a system of reclaimed lands, drainage and irrigation canals, and

conservancy dams to protect agriculture in the vulnerable coastal areas.

In 2005, torrential rains caused many rivers and water conservancies in the coastal plain to

overflow, causing flooding in Regions 1, 2, 3, 5, and 6. The floods resulted in the direct or

indirect deaths of 19 people, either from drowning, acute dehydration, or succumbing to an

outbreak of leptospirosis that occurred in the aftermath of the flooding (PAHO, 2005). Direct

economic losses of agricultural crops, livestock, fisheries, forestry, and roads in the coastal area

were estimated to total over $10 billion GYD (~$50 million USD) (UNDP, 2005).



6.3.8 Marine Use and Transportation

6.3.8.1 Introduction and Methodology

This section describes Guyana’s existing marine and coastal transportation infrastructure, with

particular focus on the Project AOI. Data and information in this section were primarily

obtained from Project-specific documents, including the Project’s Final Multi-well

Environmental Management Plan (February 2016) and Strategic Environmental Assessment

(March 2014). Other sources of information include key informant interviews, reports, studies,

and other publicly available information.



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6.3.8.2 Regional Setting

The EP Act requires EIAs to assess impacts on material assets. Nearly all the Project-related

activities will occur at designated shorebases on the coast, coastal marine waters, or offshore.

Therefore, for the purposes of this EIA “material assets” were determined to include the marine

infrastructure within the AOI which consists of waterways, coastal shipping channels, ports,

and offshore shipping lanes. Guyana has approximately 1000 km (~620 mi) of navigable rivers,

which provide water access to most population and economic centers. Subsea

telecommunications cables are also present in or near the PDA.



6.3.8.3 Existing Conditions in the Project Development Area

The Minister of Public Infrastructure’s MARAD is responsible for ensuring the safe and efficient

operation of shipping activities in Guyana territorial waters. MARAD operates in accordance

with the IMO and is a party to a number of IMO Conventions, including conventions on: Safety

of Life at Sea (SOLAS); Standards of Training, Certification, and Watchkeeping (STCW); and

Prevention of Pollution from Ships. Jamaican and Trinidadian shipping lanes may cross the

Stabroek Block (Figure 6-40).

As described in Section 6.3.2, fisheries are of significant importance to Guyana’s economy,

particularly in coastal areas. Marine fisheries and subsistence fishing occur throughout Guyana

coastal waters, from the shore to the edge of the continental shelf, approximately 150 km (~93

mi) from shore although most fishing activity occurs well inshore from the shelf edge. Figure 641 depicts the primary fishing zones offshore Guyana by fishery type and the primary fishing

ports or landing sites in Regions 2 and 3. There are no formal landing sites in Region 1.

The Port of Georgetown contains more than 40 separate wharves, including six primary cargo

wharves ranging from approximately 130 m to 247 m (~427 ft to 810 ft) in length, as well as four

tanker berths (NGIA, 2014). Other privately owned docks and portside facilities near

Georgetown and the mouth of the Demerara River have staging areas or storage yards,

although these facilities are congested and space is limited. Vessel call data for the Port of

Georgetown are not available.

A shipping channel is maintained on the lower Demerara River for the use of private,

commercial, and military vessels. Pilotage is required to access the channel, and is provided by

the Stabroek Harbour Master. As of 2014, the Superintendent of Surveys of the Harbour Master

Department indicated that ship draft in the channel was approximately 4.5 m (~15 ft) at low

water, but that dredging work was ongoing to reach a target depth of approximately 5.5 m

(~18 ft).

The Transport and Harbours Department is responsible for the management of the national

ferry service. The department has four ferry vessels, three of which operate in the Essequibo

River and one in the Berbice River. The ferries on the Essequibo River serve several ports (also

known as “Stellings”) on either side of the Essequibo River and on Leguan and Wakenaam

Islands, as shown on Figure 6-42.



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In addition to the national ferry service, many smaller vessels provide transportation between

Regions 2 and 3 across the Essequibo River. These smaller vessels are collectively and

informally known as “speedboats” because they typically travel faster than the ferries (Figure 633). These speedboats vary in size, power, and capacity, but can typically carry from 5 to 15

passengers. They operate at the same ports as the national ferry service, and may also call at

smaller informal landings as client demand and conditions warrant.

Telecommunications

A publically mapped Guyana Telephone & Telegraph (GT&T) subsea telecommunications cable

which is part of the Suriname Guyana Submarine Cable System (SGSCS) runs through the

Stabroek Block, but is outside the PDA.. Since the SGSCS is outside the area of direct impact,

and the Project would not have any indirect impacts on it, the SGSCS is not discussed further in

this EIA.



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Figure 6-40



Chapter 6

Description of the Existing Environment



Offshore Shipping Lanes



* NOTE: Map does not represent a depiction of the maritime boundary lines of Guyana.



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Figure 6-41



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Description of the Existing Environment



Fishing Zones and Ports



* NOTE: Map does not represent a depiction of the maritime boundary lines of Guyana.



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Figure 6-42



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6.3.9 Social Infrastructure and Services

6.3.9.1 Housing

Figure 6-43 shows the breakdown of housing types in the coastal regions as of the 2002 census

(housing data from the 2012 census are not yet available) and indicates that detached houses are

the most common type of housing in all regions.

Figure 6-43



Proportion of Housing Types by Region

Undivided private house

Flat/apartment/condo

Duplex

Barracks

Unknown



Part of a private house

Townhouse

Combined business and dwelling

Other



Region 6

Region 5

Region 4

Region 3

Region 2

Region 1

0%



20%



40%



60%



80%



100%



Source: Bureau of Statistics, 2002



Figure 6-44 shows the breakdown of home ownership types by region and shows that the

majority of homes in the coastal area are owned by their occupants. However, Regions 3 and 4

have a higher proportion of rented and squatted homes. Informal housing settlements increased

in the 1980s and 1990s due to housing supply constraints, causing many people to squat on

vacant parcels (IDB, 2016). The Ministry of Communities has worked in recent years to

regularize informal settlements, particularly in the Georgetown area, by providing services such

as paved streets, drainage, septic tanks, and water supply. If settlement sites are not suitable for

permanent neighborhoods, they are moved to other locations (ERM Personal Communication 8;

IDB, 2008, 2016). There are currently 216 squatting areas in the country, of which 154 have been

brought under the regularization program.



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Figure 6-44



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Description of the Existing Environment



Proportion of Home Ownership Types by Coastal Region

Owned

Rented - Private

Leased

Don't know



Squatted

Rented - Government

Rent-free

Other



Region 6

Region 5

Region 4

Region 3

Region 2

Region 1

0%



20%



40%



60%



80%



100%



Source: Bureau of Statistics, 2002



Data from the 2014 MICS indicate that the majority of homes in Guyana have a finished floor

(81.2 percent), roof (97.0 percent), and walls (93.2 percent). However, housing stock in some

regions is aging and in need of upgrade (IDB, 2016). According to the 2002 census, more than 30

percent of the housing stock in Regions 3, 4, 5, and 6 was built before 1970.



6.3.9.2 Ground Transportation Infrastructure

Guyana has an approximately 3990 km (~2,480 mi) road network that is used by the

approximately 80,000 vehicles in the country. There are six main national paved roads that each

have two lanes, except for four-lane segments along the East Bank and East Coast Demerara.

The road network is dependent on a system of bridges and culverts that provide crossings over

a dense system of canals, drains, and sluices throughout the coastal lowlands.

Georgetown has a compact, grid-based street network. Road conditions vary widely and can be

poor in some locations. Most streets are no more than two lanes wide, with approximately 7 m

to 8m (~23 ft to 26 ft) of paved width (Google Earth, 2016). The port area is linked to central

Georgetown via East Bank Demerara Road. Most intersections are not signal controlled; where

signals do exist, they are frequently out of service.

Traffic congestion is a chronic problem in and around Georgetown. Many different types of

vehicles including cars, large commercial vehicles, mini-buses, horse drawn carts, bicycles,

mopeds, scooters, and motorcycles all share the same travel lanes. Traffic congestion occurs

frequently, including just before and just after school hours.

East Bank Demerara Road is particularly susceptible to congestion, due to backups at the

Demerara Harbour Bridge, the only road crossing of the Demerara River (Figure 6-45). Daily

retraction of the bridge for a period of about one hour causes severe traffic congestion at both

ends of the bridge. The limited number of bridge openings causes delays and inconvenience to

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ocean going vessels. The Government of Guyana has investigated replacing the existing bridge

with a new bridge (with an elevated central span that would reduce or eliminate the need for

drawbridge openings) further downstream (Kaieteur News 2015).

Figure 6-45



Demerara Harbour Bridge



Driving behavior also contributes to poor and dangerous land transportation conditions.

Speeding, aggressive driving, and driving under the influence of alcohol contribute to traffic

accidents in Georgetown. Driving at night poses additional concerns due to poor street lighting

and road conditions, as well as livestock and pedestrians congregating near the roadside (OSAC

2016).

At the time of writing, the Ministry of Public Infrastructure was working with the IDB to

develop a Sustainable Urban Transport Plan for Georgetown. This will focus more on

management of current traffic than addition of significant new infrastructure; for example,

separation of slower-moving traffic from vehicular traffic in designated lanes (ERM Personal

Communication 9).



6.3.9.3 Water and Sanitation

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), 95 percent of water usage in

Guyana in 2010 was for irrigation and livestock, with four (4) percent used by municipalities

and one (1) percent by industry (FAO, 2015).

Potable Water

Most potable water is obtained from the deeper aquifers that underlie Georgetown and the

coastal plain. Water is distributed by Guyana Water Inc. (GWI), a commercial public enterprise



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that has five service areas along the coast, and a separate program to serve communities in the

hinterland. There are three major water treatment plants in the country, located in Georgetown,

New Amsterdam, and Guymine (FAO, 2015).

In rural areas not served by GWI, domestic water is obtained from a mix of ground, surface,

and rainwater sources. Rainwater is often used for potable household use, while river water is

typically used for cleaning and other non-potable uses.

Businesses that use large quantities of water, such as beverage bottling and food processing

plants, generally have their own wells to meet their needs (FAO, 2015).

Agricultural Water

Areas with fully developed drainage and irrigation systems are called Declared Drainage and

Irrigation Areas (DDIAs) and are found in Regions 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6. In these regions, irrigation is

by gravity from surface water resources trapped by shallow earthen dams known as

“conservancies.” These are located in the upper stream catchment areas and store water at

higher elevations than the surrounding fields. The Tapakuma conservancy is a large humanmade conservancy. It serves Region 2 and has been designed to provide irrigation to about 120

square kilometers (29,650 acres). During times of water shortage, this conservancy is

supplemented by pumping from the Pomeroon River (FAO, 2015).

The National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA) has responsibility for the maintenance

and delivery of the irrigation water supply throughout the country.



6.3.9.4 Power

Most of the electricity in the coastal plain of Guyana is generated, transmitted and distributed

by the state-owned utility Guyana Power & Light Inc (GPL). However, due to poor reliability of

the electrical supply, many users also have their own diesel generators. Coastal areas that are

not serviced by GPL are the Region 2 area west of Charity, and Region 1. Most areas of the

hinterland do not have electricity service, and the government has implemented a number of

hinterland energy development projects in recent years which have included installation of

solar systems, and feasibility studies for hydropower and wind projects (GPL, 2016).

The PSC has noted that the high cost of electricity in Guyana is a major challenge for business.

This was also raised as an issue by representatives of agricultural processing associations (ERM

Personal Communications 1, 5, and 10).

According to the PSC, development of hydroelectricity should be a major priority for the

country. The plan for the 165 megawatt (MW) Amaila Falls hydroelectric plant was cancelled in

2015 due to delays and the potential for cost overruns (ERM Personal Communication 10).

Total electricity generation output in Guyana in thousands of MW-hours for the period 2009

through 2015 is presented on Figure 6-46.



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Figure 6-46



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Description of the Existing Environment



Electricity Generation in Guyana, 2009-2015

800



MWH (000s)



600



400



200



0

2009



2010



2011



2012



2013



2014



2015



Source: Ministry of Finance, 2015



Although Guyana has significant potential for hydroelectric and biomass-fueled electricity

generation, at this time, 83 percent of its installed generation capacity is thermal, relying on

expensive imported liquid fuels and making average electricity prices among the highest in

Latin America and the Caribbean. The remaining 17 percent of installed capacity is biomassbased, using bagasse (sugarcane fibers remaining after cane juice is extracted) as fuel to selfgenerate power at GuySuco’s sugarcane factories. There are plans to enhance the generation

capacity of the GuySuco factories such that excess power is available and can be exported to the

National electrical grid, and the government continues to explore options for a hydroelectric

power project (GEA, 2015; ClimateScope, 2015).



6.3.9.5 Telecommunications Infrastructure

As described in Section 6.3.7, the majority of households in the coastal regions have access to

mobile phone service. However, the lack of 4G network access has been a major barrier to

increased business investment in Guyana, and an issue that the PSC has prioritized. In 2016, the

first 4G network in the country was installed. Fiber optic cable is also a pressing need to

improve reliability and accessibility (PSC, 2015) of mobile phone services.



6.3.9.6 Educational Facilities

Table 6-19 shows the number of nursery, primary, secondary, and post-secondary schools in

each of the coastal regions. The majority of post-secondary institutions (technical schools,

colleges and universities) are found in Georgetown.



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Table 6-19



Region 1

Region 2

Region 3

Region 4

Region 5

Region 6



Chapter 6

Description of the Existing Environment



Number of Educational Facilities in Guyana’s Coastal Regions

Nursery



Primary



Secondary



17

49

59

65

34

67



42

37

59

54

32

54



3

8

13

15

7

17



Technical/

Vocational

0

1

0

4

0

1



College/

University

0

0

0

7

0

2



Source: Guyana Ministry of Education 2013



Table 6-19 includes the full list of schools in the coastal regions as reported by the Guyana

Ministry of Education, but Figure 6-47 only shows schools occurring near the coast. In general,

this distribution reflects population trends along the coast. Schools are found all along the coast

of Regions 3, 4 and 6, which are also the most populated regions. In Region 2, schools are found

along the coast until the coastal road ends, and are much fewer in the Region 2 areas west of

Charity and in Region 1.



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Figure 6-47



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Description of the Existing Environment



Locations of Schools that Occur in Near-coastal Portions of Regions 1-6



* NOTE: Map does not represent a depiction of the maritime boundary lines of Guyana.



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6.3.9.7 Security Facilities

The Guyana Defense Force (GDF) is the military service of Guyana and has land, sea (Coast

Guard) and air (Air Corps) units responsible for defending the territorial integrity of Guyana. In

terms of internal security, the Guyana Police Force (GPF) operates as a semiautonomous agency

under the Ministry of Home Affairs. The GPF has seven geographic policing divisions each with

their own headquarters, stations and outposts as summarized in Table 6-20.

Table 6-20

Division

A



B

C



D



E&F



G



Policing Divisions in Guyana

Geographic Area

City of Georgetown and the East Bank

of the Demerara River including the

Cheddi Jagan International Airport,

Timehri, 25 miles from Georgetown.

County of Berbice but excluding

Kwakani.

County of Demerara, East of the

Demerara River but excluding A

Division.

County of Demerara, West of the

Demerara River and a portion of the

East Bank of the Essequibo.

Upper Demerara including the area

surrounding the bauxite holdings of

Linden, Ituni and Kwakani and the

Interior.

Essequibo Coast including the islands

of the Essequibo and Pomeroon Rivers.



Headquarters

Location

Brickdam,

Georgetown



Number of

Stations

9



Number of

Outposts

7



Coburg Street,

New Amsterdam

Cove & John,

East Coast

Demerara

Leonora, West

Coast Demerara



12



5



8



4



6



1



Rabbit Walk, Eve

Leary,

Georgetown



30



6



Anna Regina,

Essequibo Coast



6



0



Figure 6-48 shows the locations of 35 (approximately 50 percent) of the total reported police

stations in Guyana enumerated in the table above (locational data were not available for the

interior outpost locations).



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Figure 6-48



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Description of the Existing Environment



Locations of Security Facilities in Immediate Vicinity of Guyana’s Coast



* NOTE: Map does not represent a depiction of the maritime boundary lines of Guyana.



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6.3.10 Cultural Heritage

6.3.10.1 Underwater Cultural Heritage

Prior to EEPGL’s interest in the Stabroek Block, no previous cultural surveys had been

undertaken within the vicinity of the PDA. EEPGL retained Fugro Marine Geoservices, Inc.

(Fugro) to conduct a geophysical and remote sensing survey of the seafloor within the PDA to

identify the occurrence of any potential cultural resources that may impact, or be impacted by,

the design and placement of planned subsea equipment for the Project. Remote sensing surveys

employ various instruments that use high and/or low frequency sound waves to collect

information from the seafloor. This survey used several of these including:













Multi-beam echo sounders (MBES), which collect bathymetric data via a wide band of highfrequency sound waves and can detect abnormal shapes (which could potentially include

objects of cultural interest) against the surrounding landscape (both AUV and hull mounted

used);

Side scan sonars (SSS), which employ high frequency sound waves to collect textural data

from the seafloor and provide high resolution images of objects on the seafloor surface

(AUV mounted); and

Sub-bottom profilers (SBP), which collect data on subsurface sediments and objects located

beneath the seafloor via low frequency sound waves and are capable of locating buried

shipwrecks beneath the seafloor surface (both AUV and hull mounted used).



Submerged archaeological sites are not expected in waters deeper than approximately 125 m

(~410 ft), which was the approximate sea level during the Last Glacial Maximum (20,000 years

before present). Since all Project components with the potential to disturb the seafloor would be

deeper than approximately 125 m (~410 ft), the only potential cultural resources in the Project

area are man-made objects that have sunk, most notably shipwrecks.

Fugro’s Offshore survey operations employed AUV mounted, high-resolution, multi-beam echo

sounder (MBES), side-scan sonar (SSS), chirp sub-bottom profiler (SBP), and digital camera, as

well as hull mounted MBES and SBP units. The remote sensing instruments utilized and the

settings employed for each instrument are provided in Table 6-21. The survey was divided into

three areas: the Liza Field Development (Main AUV Survey) Area; the Upper Slope and Outer

Shelf Reconnaissance (USOS Survey) Area; and the Skipjack Survey Area.



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Table 6-21

Type

Instrument



Chapter 6

Description of the Existing Environment



Remote Sensing Instruments and Survey Settings

of



MBES



SSS



SBP



Underwater

Digital Camera



Model



Survey Settings



Hull or AUV

Mounted



Kongsberg EM2040

bathymetric system



Frequency of

200kHz swath

coverage of 150

degrees



AUV

Mounted



Kongsberg EM302

bathymetric system

EdgeTech model 2200

full-spectrum system



Frequency of

30kHz

Dual Frequencies

of 105kHz and

410kHz



Hull

Mounted

AUV

Mounted



EdgeTech model DW106 full spectrum

system



Frequency Range of

1kHz to 10kHz



AUV

Mounted



EdgeTech 3300 full

spectrum system

Prosilica Allied Vision

GE4000



Frequency Range of

1kHz to 10kHz

35 millimeter

digital imagery,

~8 m (~26 ft) above

seafloor



Hull

Mounted

AUV

Mounted



Survey Areas in

which Equipment

was Used

Main AUV Survey

Area/Where

Possible in USOS

Survey Area/

Skipjack Area

USOS Survey

Area

Main AUV Survey

Area/Where

Possible in USOS

Survey

Area/Skipjack

Area

Main AUV Survey

Area/Where

Possible in USOS

Survey Area/

Skipjack Area

USOS Survey

Area

As Needed for

Ground Truthing

in all Survey

Areas



ERM assessed Fugro’s remote sensing survey methodology, including the remote sensing

equipment and instrument settings employed and the results produced, according to

internationally recognized standards. ERM found that the methods used by Fugro and the

results yielded by their survey are sufficient to provide existing cultural heritage data for the

area of anticipated impact, as the methodology and quality of data produced met the guidelines

and requirements for near and offshore remote sensing cultural surveys as defined by the U.S.

Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) and the English Heritage, whose, guidelines

together help frame “internationally recognized practices” for remote sensing surveys designed

to locate and assess cultural heritage.

The survey was divided into three areas: the Liza Field Development (Main AUV Survey) Area;

the Upper Slope and Outer Shelf Reconnaissance (USOS Survey) Area; and the Skipjack Survey

Area. The main AUV Survey identified 73 Side Scan Sonar Targets (UD01- UD073), which were

assessed for their potential as marine hazards and/or cultural resources. The targets ranged

from approximately 0.5 m to 10.5 m wide, and from approximately 2 m to 27 m long. Only three

targets, UD03, UD06, and UD070 possessed recordable height, measuring approximately 0.75

m, 1 m, and 0.5 m tall, respectively. However, none of these three targets possess shapes or

other characteristics that might suggest they are culturally sensitive objects (e.g., shipwrecks),



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and upon closer inspection all three targets are thought to be either pieces of debris or

geological formations. Based on an analysis of the geophysical and remote sensing data, Fugro

concluded that:











One of the targets (SC17) was initially considered to be a possible vessel and thus was

subjected to follow up surveys using high frequency SSS and digital photography. During

this second inspection, however, target SC17 could not be relocated, though the seafloor at

its previously recorded location showed signs of the object having moved downslope (drag

scars). This indicates that the object is not culturally sensitive because, even if it were a

cultural resource, it no longer maintains its original context (greatly diminishing its

potential research value) (Figure 6-50);

Another of the targets (SC110) was initially thought to be a potential vessel, but upon

second inspection was identified as likely being a fishing net (Figure 6-51); and

The remaining 71 targets in the main AUV Survey area were judged to be modern debris

(e.g., debris associated with previous well development projects, cable laying efforts) or

geological features (e.g., rock clusters or formations) of no significant cultural value. As

examples of modern debris, three of the targets, UD08, UD011, and UD021 (Figure 6-49),

were interpreted as discarded chain or cable coils.



In summary, upon review of the SSS imagery and data collected, ERM concluded that these 73

SSS targets are likely modern debris, fishing nets, chain or cable coils, or geological features of

no significant cultural value.

Figure 6-49



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Figure 6-50



SSS Target SC17 in the Main AUV Survey Area



Figure 6-51



SSS Target SC110 in the Main AUV Survey Area



Remote sensing efforts in the USOS Survey Area revealed no discernable objects, either

geological or man-made in origin, and thus it was concluded that there are no cultural concerns

for the USOS Survey Area.

Ten SSS targets were identified in the SkipJack Survey Area, each of which appeared linear in

shape, with lengths ranging from approximately 4 m to 78 m (~13 ft to 256 ft), widths ranging

from approximately 1 m to 5.5 m (~3 ft to 18 ft), and no measureable heights (Figure 6-52). None

of these targets were concluded to represent culturally significant objects, and are likely to be

either geological formations or modern debris. In addition, a series of subtle reflections in the

SSS data located in the southeast portion of the Skipjack Survey Area are understood to

represent the Suriname-Guyana Submarine Cable System (SGSCS) Trinidad-Guyana cable.



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These reflections run approximately 950 m (~3,116 ft) to the southeast and parallel to the

reported as-built position of the SGSCS Trinidad-Guyana cable. The presence of this cable

accounts for the presence of discarded cable or chain remains located within the main AUV

survey area.

Figure 6-52



SSS Mosaic Showing SSS Targets, Including the Potential SGSCS TrinidadGuyana Cable, in the Skipjack Survey Area



6.3.10.2 Coastal Cultural Heritage

Maps obtained from the Guyana National Trust also show the presence of several shell mounds,

seashell deposits, quarries, and ceramic/pottery sites (i.e., scatters) along the Atlantic coast of

Guyana, including archaeological sites found near Moruka, Uitvlugt, Stewartville, and Leonora.

These sites are of significant cultural value to both the people of Guyana as well as researchers

from other parts of the world, as they offer insight into the material culture of native peoples

inhabiting the land before, during, and after contact with Europeans. However, only two of the

ceramic/pottery sites on the maps are shown to be located near the shoreline.



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6.3.11 Ecosystem Services

Ecosystem services are typically defined as the benefits that people obtain from the natural

environment, including natural resources that underpin basic human health and survival needs,

support economic activities, and provide cultural fulfilment.

Ecosystem services are divided into provisioning, regulating, cultural, and supporting services.

Each of these is defined below (Millennium Ecosystem Assessment [MA], 2005).











Provisioning services: Goods or products obtained from ecosystems such as food,

freshwater, timber, fiber, and other goods.

Regulating services: Benefits obtained from an ecosystem’s control of natural processes such

as climate, water flow, disease regulation, pollination, and protection from natural hazards.

Cultural services: Non-material benefits obtained from ecosystems such as recreation,

spiritual values, and aesthetic enjoyment.

Supporting services: Natural processes such as erosion control, soil formation, nutrient

cycling, and primary productivity that maintain other services.



Review of information indicates that the marine and coastal environments in Guyana provide

all four categories of ecosystem services, some of which are critical for the wellbeing and

livelihoods of coastal communities. These are described by category below.



6.3.11.1 Provisioning Services

As described above, marine fishing for various species of fish and shellfish is a vital source of

protein and income to coastal communities. In addition to cultivated agriculture, communities

in the coastal area (particularly Amerindian communities in Region 1) harvest a range of

naturally occurring resources for household use and sale. This includes coconuts, manicole

(heart of palm), mangrove bark, timber, tuli palm used for roof thatch, and crabwood seeds that

are processed to make crabwood oil. Fishing, crabbing, and shrimping also occur on a small

scale in the mangroves. There is also potential for apiculture in the mangroves. There are

currently five apiaries with a total of 100 beehives in Region 1, and seven apiaries with a total of

120 beehives in Region 2. However, it is not clear whether any of these are located in mangrove

forests. In Regions 4, 5, and 6, apiculture does occur in mangroves (Ministry of Agriculture,

2016). Despite their protected status, sea turtles and their eggs are sometimes poached in the

coastal area (ERM Personal Communication 11).



6.3.11.2 Regulating Services

One of the most important regulating services provided by coastal ecosystems is shoreline and

flood protection. Guyana’s coastal plain is vulnerable to coastal flooding due to its low

elevation, and mangrove forests with their dense root systems are an important component of

the country’s natural and manmade sea defense system. Mangroves also filter sediments,

protecting sensitive seagrass beds from being smothered.



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6.3.11.3 Cultural Services

Throughout Guyana’s populated coastal regions, the seashore is often utilized in religious

Hindu funeral and cleansing ceremonies. The Hindu community in Guyana has a number of

crematoriums along the coast, and ashes are disposed in the ocean as part of funeral

ceremonies. In addition, prayer and bathing ceremonies are performed informally by members

of the Hindu community year round, but especially during the holy festival of Kartik Snan,

which occurs in October or November each year (ERM Personal Communication 12).

Some members of African ethnic organizations also make use of the seashore to commemorate

African Holocaust day at the Kingston Seawall in Georgetown, as well as other spiritual and

religious events (ERM Personal Communication 13).

Although infrastructure in the area is not well developed and tourism activity is limited, the

SBPA has high aesthetic and educational value and potential for ecotourism due to its

importance as a sea turtle nesting area.



6.3.11.4 Supporting Services

Mangrove forests along the coast play an active role in nutrient cycling and act as nurseries for

ecologically and commercially important fish and shellfish species. Mangrove and other coastal

ecosystems such as brackish lagoons, brackish herbaceous swamps, and swamp forests also

provide habitat for a diversity of flora and fauna, including those with tourism value and

potential, such as migratory shorebirds (WWF, 2016).



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7.0 ASSESSMENT OF POTENTIAL IMPACTS

This chapter of the EIA discusses direct, indirect, and induced impacts that could occur as a

result of the Project. Sections 7.1 through 7.3 discuss impacts that are expected to occur due to

planned Project activities. Section 7.4 discusses impacts that are not expected to occur, but could

potentially occur due to unplanned events.

As described in Chapter 4, this impact assessment was performed using the methodology of the

ERM Impact Assessment Standard. This methodology takes into consideration both the

magnitude of an impact and the sensitivity/vulnerability/importance of the impacted

resource/receptor to determine the significance of the impact (see Figure 7-1); the methodology

is described in more detail in Chapter 4.

In Chapter 7, the potential impacts to resources/receptors are described. For each potential

impact, the impact magnitude and resource/receptor sensitivity/vulnerability/importance are

characterized and assigned ratings as noted in Figure 7-1. Once these ratings are assigned, the

matrix is used to determine the impact significance.

Figure 7-1 is annotated to show an example of a potential impact (considering embedded

controls that are part of the Project design, but not yet considering any proposed mitigation

measures) that is assigned a magnitude of Small and for which the resource has been

characterized as having a Medium sensitivity. The resulting impact significance (which is

termed the “pre-mitigation significance” is therefore determined to be Minor (as shown by the

dashed circle). If a mitigation measure were to be proposed such that it reduced the impact

magnitude to Negligible, for example, the impact significance would be reduced to Negligible

(as shown by the solid circle). As described in Chapter 4, positive impacts (i.e., benefits) are not

assigned magnitude ratings and the impact significance is simply expressed as Positive.

Figure 7-1



Evaluation of Impact Significance



The impact assessment covers the Project stages described in Chapter 2 (i.e., drilling and

installation, hook-up and commissioning, production operations, and decommissioning). The

nature of activities comprising the hook-up and commissioning stage are such that all potential

impacts associated with this stage are also associated with at least one other Project stage.

Accordingly, this impact assessment focuses on potential impacts associated with the other

three stages (drilling and installation, production operations, and decommissioning), and this

effectively also addresses impacts associated with the hook-up and commissioning stage.



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It is also noted that not all resources/receptors have potential impacts associated with every one

of these three Project stages. Accordingly, there are instances where a particular Project stage is

not discussed with respect to a resource/receptor.



7.1 Physical Resources

For the purposes of this EIA, “physical resources” are intended to include non-biological

natural resources.



7.1.1 Air Quality and Climate

7.1.1.1 Introduction

This section addresses potential impacts on air quality due to emissions resulting from Project

activities. Additionally, while potential climate impacts are more of a global concern from

cumulative worldwide greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, the section addresses potential

impacts on climate from Project GHG emissions. The key potential impacts assessed include

increases in ambient concentrations of pollutants as a result of stationary and mobile

combustion sources associated with the Project, and GHG emissions from these same sources.



7.1.1.2 Relevant Project Activities and Potential Impacts

Emissions generated by the Project generally emanate from two source categories: a) specific

point sources such as the power generating units and diesel engines on drill ships and on the

FPSO, flares used (non-routinely) to combust produced gas when not consumed as fuel gas on

the FPSO or injected back into the Liza reservoir, vents and onboard incineration of wastes; and

b) general area sources such as support vessels, installation vessels, tug boats, and helicopters.

Such emissions contribute to increases in the ambient air concentrations of certain pollutants.

Depending on the magnitude and extent of the increases relative to the location of potential

receptors onshore in Guyana, the increases may have the potential to contribute to health

impacts. Because air quality for Project workers will be addressed through standard

occupational exposure guidelines, the air quality impact assessment was limited in

consideration to these potential onshore receptors. With respect to climate, the combustion of

hydrocarbons in support of Project activities will generate GHG emissions. While the GHG

emissions from the Project have been estimated with an acceptable level of confidence, the

potential influence of those GHG emissions on global climate change is not measurable with an

acceptable level of confidence and, therefore, is not addressed in this EIA.

Table 7-1 summarizes potential Project impacts on air quality and climate.



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Table 7-1



Chapter 7

Assessment of Potential Impacts



Project Activities and Potential Impacts – Air Quality and Climate



Stage



Drilling and

Installation



Production

Operations



Project Activity



Resource



Ambient air quality

Operation of drill ships (onshore population

as receptors)

(power generation and

engines), marine support

and installation vessels,

and support aircraft.

Climate



Operation of FPSO

(power generation and

engines), marine support

vessels, and support

aircraft; temporary, nonroutine flaring of gas

when not re-injected.



Ambient air quality

(onshore population

as receptors)



Climate



Key Potential Impacts

 Increased concentrations of

pollutants in ambient air,

potentially contributing to health

impacts in onshore receptors.

 Increased emissions of GHGs,

potentially contributing to

climate impacts* (more of a

global concern).

 Increased concentrations of

pollutants in ambient air,

potentially contributing to health

impacts in onshore receptors.

 Increased emissions of GHGs,

potentially contributing to

climate impacts* (more of a

global concern).



*Please see discussion in Section 7.1.1.2



7.1.1.3 Characterization of Impacts – Air Quality

Magnitude of Impact – Air Quality

Project Emissions

Emissions to air from the Project have been estimated based on a number of factors including

activity levels, fuel type, equipment capacities, and standard emission factors that are published

by the USEPA in the publication AP-42: Compilation of Air Pollutant Emission Factors (AP-42). As

described in AP-42, an emission factor is a representative value that relates the quantity of a

pollutant released to the atmosphere with an activity associated with the release of that

pollutant. These factors are usually expressed as the weight of pollutant divided by a unit

weight, volume, distance, or duration of the activity emitting the pollutant (e.g., milligrams of

NOx emitted per cubic meter of natural gas combusted). The use of these factors allows

estimation of emissions from various sources of air pollution. In most cases, these factors are

averages of available data of an acceptable quality, and are generally assumed to be

representative of long-term averages for a particular type of source.

Table 7-2 provides a summary of expected annual emissions from various Project activities for

three time periods: 2018-2019 (development drilling, SURF installation and commissioning, and

operation of related support vessels); 2020-2021 (drilling, FPSO startup and associated

temporary, non-routine flaring, beginning of production operations, tanker loading); and 20222040 (production operations following cessation of drilling, including temporary, non-routine

flaring, operation of support vessels, and tanker loading). For each of the time periods following

2019, the annual emissions summarized in Table 7-2 represent the maximum anticipated for any

one year during that time period. While there are some differences in emissions for different



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years within the time periods, they are relatively minor and the use of maximum emissions for

the impact assessment provides a degree of conservatism in the results.

Table 7-2



Annual Air Emissions Summary



Pollutant



Source Category



Annual Emissions

(Tonnes unless otherwise specified)

2018-2019



2020-2021



2022-2040



FPSO



0



1,635



1,545



FPSO Flaring (temporary, non-routine)



0



375



175



Tanker Loading



0



135



140



Area Sources



2,385



1,125



1,125



Drill ship



1,255



1,670



0



Total



3,640



4,945



2,975



FPSO



0



45



50



FPSO Flaring (temporary, non-routine)



0



0



5



Tanker Loading



0



110



115



Area Sources



85



40



40



Drill Ship



45



60



0



Total



130



250



205



FPSO



0



45



35



FPSO Flaring (temporary, non-routine)



0



15



5



Tanker Loading



0



10



10



Area Sources



170



80



80



Drill Ship



90



120



0



Total



260



210



130



FPSO



0



425



405



FPSO Flaring (temporary, non-routine)



0



2,030



940



Tanker Loading



0



30



30



Area Sources



500



235



235



Drill ship



265



350



0



Total



765



3,070



1,610



Nitrogen oxides (NOx)



Sulfur dioxide (SO2)



Particulate matter (PM)



Carbon monoxide (CO)



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Pollutant



Chapter 7

Assessment of Potential Impacts



Source Category



Annual Emissions

(Tonnes unless otherwise specified)

2018-2019



2020-2021



2022-2040



n/a



<1



<1



Volatile Organic

All Sources

Compounds (VOCs)



95



10,250



10,720



Greenhouse Gases

(GHGs [kilotonnes

CO2-equivalents])



195



1,510



980



Other Pollutants

Hydrogen Sulfide

(H2S)



FPSO Flaring (temporary, non-routine)



All Sources



Notes:

1. The annual estimated totals generally reflect the current preliminary Project schedule (see Section 2.14), which

could change.

2. VOC emissions are shown in this table but were not included in the impact assessment modeling, as no ambient

air quality criteria have been established for these substances.

3. PM emissions represent total PM; for the purpose of the impact assessment, the total PM values were used for

modeling of both PM10 and PM2.5 emissions (producing conservatively high modeling results).

4. The emission rates in this table reflect annual totals. In some cases, the activities generating the emission are not

continuous during the year, or do not operate at full capacity throughout the year. For these sources, the annual

emissions estimates reflect this non-continuous operation over the year. However, for the purpose of modeling

conducted to compare with short-term (up to 24-hour) guidelines, activities were assumed to be operating at full

capacity for the simulated period, to reflect maximum short-term emission rates.



Ambient Air Quality Guidelines and Concentrations

Ambient air quality guidelines are concentration levels in air that are established by governing

authorities to protect human health in locations where exposure can occur. These generally

include a margin of safety to ensure that vulnerable individuals are also protected. Guyana has

not established specific ambient air quality standards (AQSs); therefore, the guidelines used for

reference in this assessment were those established by the World Health Organization (WHO).

The WHO guidelines are summarized in Table 7-3. These guidelines were published in WHO

Air Quality Guidelines for Particulate Matter, Ozone, Nitrogen Dioxide and Sulfur Dioxide - Global

Update 2005 (WHO, 2005) except for CO and H2S, which were published in WHO Air Quality

Guidelines for Europe, 2nd edition, 2000 (WHO, 2000).

Existing air quality is discussed in Section 6.1.1. A concentration value of 2.5 µg/m3 for PM2.5

(from a Yale University 2015 study) was identified for air quality onshore Guyana. No values

were found in the literature for existing onshore air quality for the other substances modeled.

However, Yale University (2016) published a report that ranked Guyana 6th (from the best) out

of 180 countries in air quality. Accordingly, it was concluded that onshore Guyana is an

undegraded airshed for the purpose of impact assessment process (see below).



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Table 7-3



Chapter 7

Assessment of Potential Impacts



WHO Ambient Air Quality Guidelines

Pollutant

NO2

SO2

PM10

PM2.5

CO

H2S



Averaging Period

1-hour



Guideline Concentration

(μg/m3)

200



Annual



40



10-minute



500



24-hour



20



24-hour



50



Annual



20



24-hour



25



Annual



10



1-hour



30,000



8-hour



10,000



30-minute



7



Air Quality Dispersion Modeling

Air dispersion modeling was carried out to assess air quality impacts for onshore human

receptors. The key elements of the modeling are discussed below, including receptors, source

inputs, model selection, and meteorological data.

Receptors: A grid of potential receptor points was established for onshore areas in the Project

AOI. The intent of this grid was to identify maximum predicted pollutant concentrations

generated by the Project across the onshore portion of the Project AOI. The methodology

utilized was to predict maximum concentrations at all of the onshore grid points using the

dispersion model, and then to compare these maximum values to concentrations that may

potentially result in significant impacts; if the maximum predicted concentrations are

determined to be not significant, it follows that air quality impacts on any specific receptors

throughout the onshore Project AOI also would be not significant. For this reason specific

locations of sensitive receptors were not identified at the onset of modeling.

Sources: With regard to source characteristics, point sources were modeled with fixed stack

parameters including physical dimensions and exhaust characteristics. Flares were also modeled

as stacks, with additional calculations applied to adjust the release height and stack parameter to

account for increased thermal buoyancy associated with the high temperature of the flare. All of

the emissions sources on the FPSO were conservatively modeled at a single location

(representing the highest predicted ambient air concentration scenario). Area sources (without

fixed locations) were modeled in a fashion to represent their transit across planned travel areas.

For example, support vessels and helicopters were assumed to operate and generate emissions

within the PDA and also to transit between the shore at Georgetown and the PDA. There is a

potential that additional support vessels for some stages of the Project may transit between

Trinidad and Tobago and the PDA; however, based on the low level of emissions contributed

by support vessel/helicopter traffic, relative to emissions from sources in the PDA, and the

expectation that most support vessel/helicopter traffic will originate from Guyana shorebase



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facilities, modeling of support vessel area sources was limited to vessels transiting between

Guyana and the PDA.

Figure 7-2 displays the modeling domain used in this analysis, showing the locations of the

main Project point sources (the FPSO and the drill centers), and of the area sources (including

support vessels, helicopters, installation vessels, and other sources without a fixed location), as

configured for the modeling. Terrain elevations used in the modeling are also depicted on this

figure.

Model Selection: The CALPUFF model (a non-steady-state model used in the U.S. and around the

globe for long-range transport and complex wind modeling) was selected for use in the

assessment. CALPUFF is a Lagrangian “puff” model that treats a plume as a series of puffs that

it tracks as the wind carries the plume towards potential receptor locations. CALPUFF is also

capable of modeling near-field impacts.

The selection of CALPUFF was based on the long distance between the principal Project-related

sources and the receptors. As shown on Figure 7-2, the distance from the PDA to the closest

shoreline is greater than 190 kilometers. At this distance, emission plumes released from Project

point sources would travel for 10 hours, assuming an average wind speed of 5 meters/second

(typical for the area). During this transport time winds can change direction and speed.

Accordingly, prediction of plume dispersion is most appropriately accomplished with a nonsteady state model.



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Figure 7-2



Chapter 7

Assessment of Potential Impacts



Air Quality Modeling Domain



Meteorological Data: The Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model was used to develop

hourly meteorology inputs for CALPUFF for one year – calendar year 2014. WRF is a prognostic

meteorological model that creates profiles of winds and temperature at grid points across a

domain. The grid spacing chosen for this analysis was 12 km, so that a two-dimensional profile

of hourly winds and temperature was developed every 12 km within the domain shown on

Figure 7-2. The profiles were used by CALPUFF to simulate the transport and dispersion of

emission plumes from Project sources, allowing the model to calculate ambient constituent

concentrations at potential receptor locations.

Predicted Ambient Air Concentrations

Using the methodology described above, modeling was conducted with CALPUFF to estimate

maximum ambient concentrations of Project-generated constituents of interest at potential

onshore receptor locations. Model results were developed for each modeled constituent, for

each averaging period with an associated WHO guideline concentration (Table 7-3). Results are

summarized in Table 7-4.



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Table 7-4

Pollutant



NO2

SO2

PM10

PM2.5

CO

H2S



Chapter 7

Assessment of Potential Impacts



Modeling Results Summary at Potential Onshore Receptor Locations

Averaging

Period



Guideline

Concentration

(μg/m3)



Maximum Predicted

Percent of WHO Guideline

Concentration (μg/m3)

2018- 20202022- 2018-2019 2020-2021 2022-2040

2019

2021

2040



1-hour



200



1.3



2.1



1.5



0.6%



1.0%



0.7%



Annual



40



0.1



0.2



0.1



0.3%



0.4%



0.2%



10-minute



500



0.1



0.7



0.6



0.0%



0.1%



0.1%



24-hour



20



0.0



0.2



0.2



0.1%



0.9%



0.9%



24-hour



50



0.0



0.1



0.0



0.1%



0.1%



0.1%



Annual



20



0.0



0.0



0.0



0.1%



0.1%



0.0%



24-hour



25



0.0



0.1



0.0



0.2%



0.2%



0.1%



Annual



10



0.0



0.0



0.0



0.1%



0.1%



0.0%



1-hour



30,000



0.3



2.6



2.6



0.0%



0.0%



0.0%



8-hour



10,000



0.3



1.5



1.4



0.0%



0.0%



0.0%



30-minute



7



n/a



n/a



0.00002



n/a



n/a



0.0002%



The magnitude rating for air quality is determined on the basis of two factors:







The increase in pollutant concentrations in air as a result of the Project (Project Contribution

– “PC”); and

The total air pollutant concentrations arising as a result of the PC added to the existing

conditions (the Predicted Environmental Concentration – “PEC”).



The PC and PEC are considered in the context of the relevant WHO air quality guidelines. Once

the PC and PEC have been estimated, there are a number of approaches that may be used to

determine the magnitude of impact. In jurisdictions such as Guyana that do not have specified

approaches, the most commonly used is based upon guidance from the International Finance

Corporation (IFC). This approach is set out below on Figure 7-3.

As shown in Table 7-4, for all the modeled constituents, the maximum onshore concentrations

predicted to result from Project activities are negligible relative to WHO guidelines (all less than

or equal to 1 percent of the AQS). Accordingly, a magnitude rating of Negligible was assigned

for impacts on air quality.



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Figure 7-3



Chapter 7

Assessment of Potential Impacts



Definitions for Magnitude Ratings for Potential Impacts on Air Quality



Undegraded airshed = environmental conditions where no existing concentrations exceed a specific air quality

guideline (coastal Guyana is considered an undegraded airshed based on the existing concentrations presented above).



Sensitivity of Resource – Air Quality

The standard approach taken assumes that the sensitivity for human health within the general

population is ‘Medium’. This is on the basis that, as air quality standards are set to protect the

most vulnerable individuals in society, there is inherently a margin of safety within air quality

standards. There are a small number of specific cases where the sensitivity may be defined as

‘High’; these cases include where there are particularly vulnerable individuals (e.g., a hospital

where there are intensive care wards and high-dependency wards where patients will be

particularly sensitive to air pollution).

As such, the airshed at all potential onshore receptor locations would be either a Medium or a

High sensitivity rating.

Impact Significance and Mitigation Measures – Air Quality

Based on the magnitude of impact and receptor sensitivity ratings, the significance of impacts

on air quality for all receptors is Negligible. Based on this rating, no mitigation is

recommended.



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7.1.1.4 Characterization of Impacts – Climate

Table 7-5 summarizes the estimated annual GHG emissions for the Project throughout the

projected Project lifecycle.

Table 7-5



Estimated Annual Project GHG Emissions

Estimated Annual GHG Emissions

in kilotonnes CO2-equivalents



All Project Activities



2018-2019



2020-2021



2022-2040



195



1,510



980



Notes:

1. The annual estimated totals generally reflect the current preliminary Project schedule (see Section 2.14), which

could change.



As potential climate impacts are more of a global concern from cumulative worldwide GHG

emissions, as opposed to concern for a local airshed, modeling of GHG emissions is typically

not performed as part of an EIA for a proposed project. Additionally, as there are no applicable

regulatory criteria to which GHG emissions can be compared, this impact was not assigned

magnitude and sensitivity ratings. However, EEPGL environmental performance monitoring

and reporting management systems are in line with international good practice methods with

respect to GHG management. EEPGL will quantify direct Project GHG emissions from the

Project facilities and equipment utilized within the Project AOI. Quantification of GHG

emissions will be conducted annually in accordance with internationally recognized

methodologies and good practice.



7.1.1.5 Summary of Impact Significance Ratings

Table 7-6 summarizes the impact magnitude and resource sensitivity ratings for potential

Project impacts on air quality and climate, and the impact significance rating resulting

therefrom. The significance of impacts was assessed based on the impact assessment

methodology described in Chapter 4 and summarized at the beginning of this chapter.



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Table 7-6



Chapter 7

Assessment of Potential Impacts



Air Quality and Climate - Pre-Mitigation and Residual Impact Significance

Ratings



Stage



Resource/

Receptor –

Impact

All Project Ambient air

stages

quality –

increased

concentrations

of pollutants in

ambient air,

potentially

contributing to

health impacts

in onshore

human

receptors

All Project Climate –

stages

increased GHG

concentrations,

potentially

contributing to

climate impacts



Magnitude



Negligible



Sensitivity Pre-mitigation Proposed

Significance Mitigation

Rating

Measures

Medium or

Negligible

None

High

(assumed)



NR



NR



NR



Residual

Significance

Rating

Negligible



(a)



NR



NR = not rated

(a) EEPGL will quantify and report GHG emissions to the EPA consistent with international guidelines.



7.1.2 Sound

As indicated in Section 6.1.2, the Project would not be expected to result in significant airborne

sound impacts or ground-borne vibration impacts due to the distance between Project sound

sources and onshore communities and receptors (the Stabroek Block is approximately 190 km

offshore). The only airborne sound receptors will be workers onboard the FPSO, drill ships, and

other Project-associated vessels. With respect to worker protection, EEPGL will utilize industry

standard engineering and administrative controls for sound mitigation, and will monitor sound

levels and provide appropriate hearing protection PPE for workers as needed. Therefore, the

Project’s potential impacts from airborne sound and ground-borne vibration were not assessed.

Potential impacts from Project-related underwater sound are discussed with respect to potential

marine life receptors (in Sections 7.2.5 and 7.2.7).



7.1.3 Marine Geology and Sediments

7.1.3.1 Introduction

This section describes the assessment of potential impacts on marine geology and sediments.

The potential impacts assessed include changes to seafloor morphology from accumulation of

discharged drill cuttings on the seafloor and changes to sediment quality from the residual

hydrocarbon contained on the discharged drill cuttings.



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During installation of the FPSO and SURF components, there would be some localized

disturbance of sediments in a limited area; however, this impact would be negligible with

respect to the seafloor morphology. Additional discussion regarding potential impacts on

marine benthos from these activities is provided in Section 7.2.8, Marine Benthos. No impacts

on marine geology and sediments would be expected as a result of activities associated with

production operations or decommissioning.



7.1.3.2 Relevant Project Activities and Potential Impacts

The process of drilling the wells will produce drill cuttings that are discharged either directly to

the seafloor (in open hole sections drilled riserless and with seawater) or from the drill ship into

the ocean (in hole sections drilled with a riser) after treatment (i.e., solids control and centrifugal

cuttings dryer system). The planned development drilling program and its cuttings

management approach is consistent with industry practices and protective of the environment.

For each well, approximately 2,600 bbl of cuttings for the open hole sections will be discharged

to the sea without treatment per standard industry practice, as these sections are drilled using

WBDF instead of NADF. For sections drilled with a riser, approximately 3,300 bbl of cuttings

(per well) discharged from the drill ship into the ocean would first be treated to remove

associated drilling fluids to acceptable discharge thresholds. EEPGL will utilize a cuttings dryer

that incorporates a high-speed centrifuge to achieve high liquids/solids separation, reducing

waste volumes. Planned discharges of drill cuttings and fluids will locally impact the marine

sediment layer as a result of accumulation of cuttings on the seafloor. Cuttings will accumulate

on the seafloor around the well locations, with the distribution of deposition determined by

oceanographic conditions.

Table 7-7 summarizes potential Project impacts on marine geology and sediments.

Table 7-7



Project Activities and Potential Impacts – Marine Geology and Sediments



Stage



Drilling and Installation



Production Operations

Decommissioning



May 2017



Project Activity



Key Potential Impacts

 Changes to seafloor morphology from

Discharge of drill cuttings

accumulated drill cuttings

during drilling of wells, and

 Impacts on sediment quality from

resulting deposition of

residual hydrocarbon on discharged

cuttings on the seafloor

cuttings

No planned Project activities

associated with Production

Operations or

Decommissioning are

 None anticipated

expected to result in impacts

to Marine Geology and

Sediments



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7.1.3.3 Characterization of Impacts

Drill Cuttings Deposition Modeling

Modeling of the deposition of cuttings and fluids was performed using the Generalized

Integrated Fate and Transport (GEMSS-GIFT) model. This three-dimensional, particle-based

model uses Lagrangian algorithms in conjunction with currents, specified mass load rates,

release times and locations, particle size distributions, settling velocities, and shear stress values

to calculate the fate and transport of discharged drill cuttings. Model outputs provide estimates

of the thickness of deposits on the seafloor, and the mass distribution of base hydrocarbon

(adhered to the cuttings) across the seafloor.

Four scenarios were modeled, considering the drill centers with the shallowest and deepest

water depths (DC1-I and DC2-I, respectively), each under two current conditions: the minimum

and the maximum of the monthly-averaged and depth-averaged current speeds. These current

speeds were derived from the SAT-OCEAN ocean circulation models. To provide a

conservatively high estimate of the potential accumulation rate, modeling was conducted

assuming cuttings from the open hole sections (containing WBDF) will be discharged at the

seafloor (as noted above, these cuttings may alternatively be discharged from the drill ship prior

to treatment).

Table 7-8 summarizes the results of the modeling for the four drill cuttings discharge scenarios.

Releases deeper in the water column at DC2-I traveled less distance and therefore resulted in a

smaller depositional footprint since the currents near the seafloor were slower than currents

near the seafloor at DC1-I. Higher current velocities near the surface at DC1-I also contributed

to a larger overall footprint size.

Table 7-8



Summary of Modeling Results for Drill Cuttings Discharge Scenarios



Scenario



Total Area (m2) with

Thickness >1 cm



Total Area (m²) with

Thickness > 5 cm



23,928



4,575



14,725



5,815



3,801



1,442



4,056



1,590



1a

DC1-I (shallowest water depth); Min Currents

1b

DC1-I; Max Currents

2a

DC2-I (deepest water depth); Min Currents

2b

DC2-I; Max Currents



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Magnitude of Impact – Sediment Morphology

Modeling of cuttings discharge and deposition indicates the maximum depositional thickness of

cuttings on the seafloor is predicted to be between 19 cm and 75 cm, depending on currents and

well location. The cuttings for the initial open hole sections settle relatively close to the well, as

they are discharged at the seafloor. In contrast the cuttings for the lower well sections are

subjected to greater dispersion as they are distributed by the currents during their settling from

near the sea surface. A literature-based deposition threshold of 5 cm per month (Ellis and Heim

1985; MarLIN 2011) was used to assess the extent of the area with the potential to impact

benthic organisms via smothering (an indirect impact resulting from impacts on marine

sediment morphology, further discussed in Section 7.2.8). This threshold represents the

accumulation rate above which benthic organisms would be expected to be unable to overcome

the rate of deposition and become smothered, thereby limiting their mobility and access to

oxygen. Modeling predicts the extent of cuttings deposition above this threshold is confined to

within a relatively short distance from the well location, with the largest modeled area

predicted to be approximately 43 m in diameter. Deposition thicknesses decrease rapidly with

increasing distance from the well. Although the 1 cm thickness does not represent an impact

threshold, Table 7-8, also shows the predicted areal coverage of deposition above this level for

each scenario.

While the above results are expressed in terms of total depositional thickness at completion of

drilling of the well, it is appropriate to compare these total thicknesses to the deposition

threshold (rate) of 5 cm per month. This is based on the fact that the modeling was conducted

assuming a constant well completion rate that simulates even the deepest of the modeled wells

being completed in approximately 21 days. In reality, it is likely there will be some pauses and

delays during the drilling of a well, meaning the actual drilling duration likely will be greater

than 21 days. Under the assumption that a subsequent well at a given drill center would not be

started any sooner than 30 days after the start of the previous well at that drill center, the total

depositional thicknesses therefore represent a conservatively high estimate of the average

depositional rate across a full month.

In terms of a magnitude rating, the impact on sediment morphology was viewed in the context

of the resources’ overall functionality with respect to providing a habitat for benthic organisms.

In this sense, the magnitude rating is expressed based on the fraction of the overall resource

being impacted at any one time by the Project. Assuming no more than two drill ships could be

drilling at any one time, the conservative approach is therefore to double the highest total area

results from Table 7-8, to reflect the largest area predicted to be subjected to a cuttings

deposition rate greater than 5 cm per month at any one time. This results in a predicted area of

approximately 11,600 m2 (~124,860 ft2), which represents approximately 0.00004 percent of the

area of the Stabroek Block. Further, as described above, the currents are expected to redistribute

the cuttings away from their initial deposition sites over time, gradually reducing their

thickness on the seafloor at these locations. Considering the extremely limited scale of impact

relative to the overall sediment resource of the Stabroek Block, the magnitude of impact on

sediment morphology from drill cutting deposition was rated as Negligible.



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Sensitivity of Resource – Sediment Morphology

The sensitivity of the overall marine sediment resource to morphology impacts from drill

cuttings deposition is considered Low, as unlike the mud banks offshore Guyana that are of

critical ecological importance as feeding zones for birds, nursery areas for fish, and habitat for a

variety of invertebrates, the deepwater sediments impacted by the drill cuttings discharge do

not support high densities of marine species and are not unique.

A separate consideration was made for the mud banks offshore Guyana; they are of critical

ecological importance as feeding zones for birds, nursery areas for fish, and habitat for a variety

of invertebrates. Thus, they were assigned a sensitivity rating of High.

Impact Significance and Mitigation Measures – Sediment Morphology

Based on the magnitude of impact and receptor sensitivity ratings, the significance of impacts

on sediment morphology is Negligible. Based on this rating, no mitigation is recommended.

With respect to the mud banks, as discussed in Section 6.1.3, these features exist within 40 km

(approximately 25 mi) from the shore (i.e., on the order of approximately 160 km (~100 mi) from

the drilling locations). Based on the results of modeling, the cuttings would not reach the mud

banks; hence, the impact magnitude rating (specifically for the mud banks) is Negligible. Thus,

despite the High sensitivity rating for the mud banks, the Negligible impact magnitude leads

to a significance rating of Negligible for potential morphological impacts on the mud banks.

Based on this rating, no mitigation is recommended.

Magnitude of Impact – Sediment Quality

The embedded controls in the Project design to reduce the impact of drilling discharges on

sediment quality include: use of WBDF to the extent reasonably practicable (for drilling of

initial open hole well sections), and use of IOGP Group III NABF in all other cases. WBDF

contains no hydrocarbons and is less harmful to marine organisms; accordingly, no treatment of

WBDF-based cuttings is required. When NADF is used, the discharge of treated cuttings will be

controlled such that residual base fluid content on discharged cuttings will average 6.9 percent

(wet weight).

The NABF to be used in the NADF by EEPGL will be IOGP Group III with low to negligible

aromatic content, reducing the potential that changes in sediment quality as a result of

discharge of the treated cuttings will lead to toxicological impacts on benthic fauna. While the

magnitude rating assigned for sediment quality was not based on a quantitative calculation, as

was the case for sediment morphology, the calculation presented for sediment morphology

illustrates the extremely low proportion of the Stabroek Block impacted by drill cuttings

deposition. For this reason, and considering the low-toxicity nature of the NADF, the

magnitude of impact is considered Negligible.



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Sensitivity of Resource – Sediment Quality

As in the case of impacts on sediment morphology from drill cuttings deposition, the sensitivity

of the marine sediment resource to sediment quality impacts from drill cuttings deposition is

considered Low, as unlike the mud banks offshore Guyana that are of critical ecological

importance as feeding zones for birds, nursery areas for fish, and habitat for a variety of

invertebrates, the deepwater sediments impacted by the drill cuttings discharge do not support

high densities of marine species and are not unique.

Impact Significance and Mitigation Measures – Sediment Quality

These magnitude and sensitivity ratings lead to a significance rating of Negligible for sediment

quality impacts. Based on this rating, no mitigation is recommended.

Summary of Impact Significance Ratings

Table 7-9 summarizes the impact magnitude and resource sensitivity ratings for potential

Project impacts on marine geology and sediments, and the impact significance ratings resulting

therefrom. The significance of impacts was assessed based on the impact assessment

methodology described in Chapter 4 and summarized at the beginning of this chapter.

Table 7-9

Stage



Marine Geology and Sediments - Pre-Mitigation and Residual Impact

Significance Ratings

Resource



Magnitude



Sensitivity



Impact



Sediment

morphology from

accumulated

drill cuttings



PreMitigation

Significance

Rating



Proposed

Mitigation

Measures



Residual

Significance

Rating



Negligible



None



Negligible



Negligible



None



Negligible



Low

(drill centers)

Negligible

High

(mud banks)



Drilling and

Installation

Sediment

quality - from

residual NABF Negligible

on deposited

drill cuttings



May 2017



Low

(drill centers)

High

(mud banks)



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Stage



Production

Operations



Resource



Chapter 7

Assessment of Potential Impacts



Magnitude



Sensitivity



PreMitigation

Significance

Rating



Proposed

Mitigation

Measures



Residual

Significance

Rating



---



---



---



None



---



Impact



None

anticipated



Decommissioning



7.1.4 Marine Water Quality

7.1.4.1 Introduction

This section describes the assessment of potential impacts on marine water quality. The

potential impacts assessed include changes to marine water quality physico-chemical conditions

as a result of the various effluent discharges associated with the Project. The following subsections describe the various discharges for which marine water quality impacts were assessed,

the application of computational models for impact magnitude quantification, and a discussion

of the impact assessment.



7.1.4.2 Relevant Project Activities and Potential Impacts

Planned discharges of drill cuttings and fluids may have a localized impact on marine water

quality as a result of increased TSS concentrations in the water column. Cuttings and fluids

released during jetting and drilling of the initial sections of the well will increase TSS

concentrations around the well near the seafloor. Cuttings discharged from the drill ship will

increase TSS concentrations in the photic zone (the more shallow level of the water column).

These increases in TSS may clog fish gills or, in the photic zone, cause light inhibition for

photosynthetic organisms.

During installation and commissioning of SURF equipment, hydrotesting fluids containing

biocides, oxygen scavengers, and corrosion inhibitors, as well as hydrate inhibiting fluid (such

as methanol or ethylene glycol) will be discharged to the sea, resulting in localized changes to

water quality.

The FPSO will have several discharges related to its operation and maintenance during

production operations. The impacts from these discharges include localized changes to water

quality from effluent discharges during production operations, and localized changes to water

temperature from discharge of cooling water effluent.

Table 7-10 summarizes potential Project impacts on marine water quality.



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Table 7-10



Chapter 7

Assessment of Potential Impacts



Project Activities and Potential Impacts – Marine Water Quality



Resource/Receptor



Stage



Drilling and

Installation



Marine water

quality (marine

fauna as receptors)



Project Activity

Discharge of drill cuttings,

resulting in increased TSS

concentrations in water

column

Liquid effluent discharges

from drill ships and

marine installation and

support vessels (chemical

substances)



Key Potential Impacts

 Increased TSS

concentrations in water

column, potentially

contributing to health

impacts on marine fauna

 Increased chemical

concentrations in water

column, potentially

contributing to health

impacts on marine fauna



Discharge of hydrotesting

fluids





Production

Operations



Liquid effluent discharges

from FPSO and marine

support vessels (chemical

substances, and elevated

temperature streams)









Decommissioning



Liquid effluent discharges

from marine support

vessels (chemical

substances)



Increased chemical

concentrations in water

column, potentially

contributing to health

impacts on marine fauna

Increased temperature in

water column, potentially

leading to avoidance of

the area by marine fauna

Increased chemical

concentrations in water

column, potentially

contributing to health

impacts on marine fauna



7.1.4.3 Characterization of Impacts – Increased TSS from Drill Cuttings Discharge

Magnitude of Impact – Increased TSS from Drill Cuttings Discharge

Modeling of the deposition of cuttings and fluids was performed using the Generalized

Integrated Fate and Transport (GEMSS-GIFT) model. This three-dimensional particle-based

model uses Lagrangian algorithms in conjunction with currents, specified mass load rates,

release times and locations, particle sizes, settling velocities, and shear stress values to calculate

the fate and transport of discharged drill cuttings. Model outputs provide estimates of the TSS

concentrations resulting from the planned discharges.

Four scenarios were modeled, considering the shallowest and deepest water depths of the four

drill centers (DC1-I and DC2-I, respectively), each under two current conditions: the minimum

and the maximum of the monthly-averaged and depth-averaged current speeds. These current

speeds were provided by the SAT-OCEAN ocean circulation model. As was assumed with drill

cutting deposition modeling (Section 7.1.3), modeling of increases in TSS concentrations was



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conducted assuming cuttings from the open hole sections (containing WBDF) will be

discharged at the seafloor (as noted above, these cuttings may alternatively be discharged from

the drill ship prior to treatment, per standard industry practice). This was confirmed to be a

conservative assumption, as modeling indicated the highest predicted TSS concentration

increases are associated with seafloor discharge (see results discussion below).

Modeling of cuttings discharge and deposition predicts the maximum TSS concentrations at the

seafloor occurring during drilling of the initial sections of the well would be between

approximately 4,323 micrograms per liter (mg/L) and 9,737 mg/L, depending on currents and

well location. These concentrations correspond to only the initial sections of the well, where

WBDF and cuttings are discharged directly from the casing. In contrast, modeling indicates the

maximum TSS concentrations in the water column for subsequent sections of the well would be

between approximately 1.6 mg/L and 5.3 mg/L, depending on currents and well location.

These concentrations are much lower because drill cuttings and fluids from the subsequent well

sections are treated on the drill ship to remove a substantial amount of the drilling fluid prior to

discharge at the surface. Additionally, the discharges near the surface are also subjected to

greater mixing from the higher current speeds at the shallower depths.

A TSS threshold of 35 mg/L, recommended by MARPOL (IMO, 2006), was used to assess the

extent of the area with the potential to impact photosynthesis via a reduction in light

penetration (an indirect impact resulting from increased TSS concentrations in the water

column). Table 7-11 summarizes the results of the modeling for the four drill cuttings discharge

scenarios.

Table 7-11



Summary of TSS Modeling Results for Drill Cuttings Discharge Scenarios



Scenario



Maximum TSS (mg/L)

Surface/Seafloor



Area (km²) with TSS

> 35 mg/L Threshold

Surface/Seafloor



1a DC1-I (shallowest water depth), Min Currents



2.1 / 4,323



0 / 0.094



1b DC1-I, Max Currents



2.9 / 5,517



0 / 0.168



2a DC2-I (deepest water depth), Min Currents



1.6 / 5,260



0 / 0.091



2b DC2-I, Max Currents



5.3 / 9,737



0 / 0.088



Modeling predicts that TSS concentrations above the 35 mg/L threshold would occur during

drilling of the initial well sections only, and these instances are confined to within a relatively

small area around the well locations, near the seafloor where water depths are too great to

allow photosynthesis. In the case of subsequent well sections, none of the maximum predicted

TSS concentrations in the photic zone exceed the 35 mg/L threshold.

Even at the seafloor, the modeling indicates TSS concentrations would be reduced to below the

threshold through settling and dispersion within approximately 1 hour of cessation of the halfday of jetting and drilling for the initial well section. Based on the limited area impacted and the

short time period during which concentrations above the threshold are expected to persist, the



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magnitude of impacts on marine water quality from TSS increases resulting from drill cuttings

discharge was rated as Negligible.

Sensitivity of Resource – Increased TSS Concentrations from Drill Cuttings Discharge

The sensitivity of the marine environment to increased TSS concentrations is considered Low, as

densities of receptors (e.g., fish and photosynthetic organisms) are expected to be low in zones

affected by short-lived higher TSS concentrations. Furthermore, photosynthetic impacts are less

relevant to the area near the seafloor, which is well below the photic zone.

Impact Significance and Mitigation Measures – Increased TSS from Drill Cuttings Discharge

These magnitude and sensitivity ratings lead to a significance rating of Negligible for marine

water quality impacts from increased TSS concentrations during drilling. Based on this rating,

no mitigation is recommended.



7.1.4.4 Characterization of Impacts – Changes to Water Quality and Temperature

Project-Related Discharges Impacting Water Quality and Temperature

The Project will include several discharges with the potential to impact water quality and

temperature. These discharges, based on the preliminary design information, are listed in Table

7-12.

Table 7-12



Summary of Project-related Discharges



Type of Discharge and Effluent

Characteristics



Expected Discharge

Volume/Rate



Discharge Criteria



Treatment

Required to

Meet Criteria?



SURF & FPSO Installation / Commissioning Discharges

≤ 500,000 bbl total

Ballast Water (FPSO initial deballasting)



Hydrostatic Test Water

 Biocide: ≤ 500 ppm

 Oxygen scavenger ≤ 100 ppm

 Corrosion inhibitor ≤ 100 ppm

Gas Injection Line Commissioning Fluids

 Hydrate inhibitor (e.g.

methanol or ethylene glycol)



May 2017



1) Perform in

No

accordance with IMO

requirements

2) No visible oil

sheen on receiving

water



25,000 bbl (total volume No visible oil sheen

for all flowlines and

on receiving water

risers, occurring

throughout SURF

commissioning phase)



No



400 bbl total



N/A



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Production Discharges

≤ 100,000 bpd



Oil in water content: Yes

29 mg/L (monthly

average); 42 mg/L

(daily maximum)

Temperature rise

<3°C at 100 m from

discharge



≤ 700,000 bpd



No visible oil sheen

on receiving water

Temperature rise

<3°C at 100 m from

discharge



No



Sulfate Removal & Potable Water

Processing Brines

 Hypochlorite: ≤ 1 ppm

 Electrolyte: ≤ 1 ppm

 Biocide: ≤ 5 ppm

 Oxygen Scavenger: ≤ 10 ppm

 Scale Inhibitor: ≤ 5 ppm



≤ 100,000 bpd



None



N/A



Subsea Hydraulic Fluid Discharge

 Water soluble, low-toxicity



≤ 5 bpd



None



N/A



1,800 bpd



Oil in water content: Yes

<15 mg/L



Negligible



None



Negligible



Oil in water content: Yes

29 mg/L (monthly

average); 42 mg/L

(daily maximum)



Produced Water

 Oil & Grease

 Residual production and water

treatment chemicals



Cooling Water

 Hypochlorite: ≤ 5 ppm



FPSO Bilge Water

Inert Gas Generator Cooling Water



FPSO Slop Tank Water

Miscellaneous Discharges including Boiler <10 bpd

Blowdown, Desalinization Blowdown, Lab

Sink Drainage



None



1,100,000 bbl total (at

each tanker crude

loading)

Tanker Ballast Water



N/A



N/A



1) Perform in

No

accordance with IMO

requirements

2) No visible oil

sheen on receiving

water



BOP System Testing Water-Soluble Low

Toxicity Hydraulic Fluid



30 bbl every two weeks None



N/A



Rain Water/Deck Drainage/Wash Down

Water



Rainfall dependent



N/A



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Gray Water



Chapter 7

Assessment of Potential Impacts



5,000 bpd



None



4,000 bpd



Total residual

Yes

chlorine as low as

practical but not less

than 1 ppm



<30 bpd



Macerated to <25

mm diameter



Black Water (sewage)



Food Preparation Wastes



N/A



Yes



Notes:

bbl = barrels

bpd = barrels per day



Based on the above estimated discharge rates, cooling water, produced water, and brines from

the Sulfate Removal Unit (SRU) and freshwater Reverse Osmosis (RO) system (all associated

with the production operations stage) are the operational discharges that were the focus of

modeling to assess the nature and extent of associated marine water quality impacts.

Additionally, although the discharge of hydrotest water and commissioning fluids will occur

over only a short time period during the installation and SURF commissioning stage, they were

also included in the offshore discharge modeling as a conservative measure. Potential impacts

from the other effluent discharges listed above were considered to be of Negligible significance.

There may be localized toxic effects on fish, crustacean, plankton, and benthos from chemicals

in the low volume of subsea hydraulic fluid discharge, but the chemicals used will be of low

toxicity and will dilute and disperse rapidly. The constituents modeled for each of these

discharges are listed in Table 7-13. The constituents are associated with potential indirect

impacts on marine aquatic life, as indicated in the table.

The cooling water discharge is the return flow associated with a routine operational process

used to cool selected machinery onboard the FPSO. The cooling water discharge will have an

elevated temperature (relative to the marine environment water temperature) and will contain a

limited amount of hypochlorite (generated from seawater and added as an anti-biofouling

agent). Aquatic species may be indirectly impacted by the elevated temperature and residual

chlorine in the discharge. Elevated temperatures may result in avoidance of the discharge area

by aquatic species. Residual chlorine may interact with naturally occurring organic matter,

resulting in chlorinated by-products with the potential to result in indirect toxicity impacts on

aquatic species. There are no regulatory limits for residual chlorine in marine discharges in

Guyana. Residual chlorine toxicity depends not only on doseage (concentration and exposure

time), but also on individual species’ sensitivity. This makes defining a single impact threshold

for residual chlorine exposure difficult.



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Table 7-13



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Assessment of Potential Impacts



Summary of Discharges and Modeled Constituents for Installation and

Production Operations



Discharge



Modeled Constituents



Cooling Water



 Temperature

 Residual Chlorine



Produced Water



Sulfate Removal and

Potable Water

Processing Brines



Hydrotest Water



Gas Injection Line

Commissioning Fluid



Potential Indirect Impacts on Marine

Aquatic Life

Temperature increase and associated impacts

on marine species.

Increased residual chlorine concentrations

and associated toxicity impacts on marine

species.



 Oil & Grease (O&G)

 Temperature

 Residual production and

water treatment chemicals

(e.g., scale and corrosion

inhibitors)













Hypochlorite

Electrolyte

Biocide

Oxygen Scavenger

Scale Inhibitor



Increased concentrations of O&G, production

chemicals, and associated toxicity impacts on

marine species.



Increased chemical concentrations and

associated toxicity impacts on marine species.



 Biocides

 Oxygen Scavenger

 Corrosion Inhibitor



Increased chemical concentrations and

associated toxicity impacts on marine species.



 Hydrate inhibitor (e.g.,

methanol or monoethylene

glycol)



Increased concentrations of hydrate inhibitor

and associated toxicity impacts on marine

species.



Discharge of produced water containing O&G and residual quantities of certain production and

water treatment chemicals can result in locally increased concentrations of chemical

constituents in the marine environment. Depending on the specific constituent concentrations

in these discharges, some aquatic species may experience indirect toxicity impacts from these

constituents.

Hydrotest water discharges may contain biocides, oxygen scavengers, and corrosion inhibitors,

which can result in locally increased concentrations of chemical constituents and associated

potential for indirect toxicity impacts on aquatic species. The hydrotest discharge, hydrate

inhibitor discharge, and initial FPSO ballast discharge will occur only during a limited time

period during SURF installation and commissioning activities, unlike the discharge of cooling

water, produced water, and wastewater, all of which will occur continuously during production

operations.

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Magnitude of Impacts – Changes to Water Quality and Temperature

The model used to predict the nature and extent of discharge plumes from the various

discharges was USEPA’s CORMIX dilution model. CORMIX is a design tool routinely used by

regulatory agencies to estimate mixing zones resulting from water discharges. Understanding

the mixing characteristics of the various discharges and assessing impacts requires

understanding the properties of the discharged effluent (e.g., temperature), the properties of the

receiving (ambient) water, and the method by which the discharge stream enters the ambient

water (e.g., pipe, diffusers). Collectively, these factors control the near-field mixing and dilution

of the discharge.

Discharge velocity, an important determinant of the mixing characteristics of a discharge, is

directly related to the discharge pipe diameter. At a given discharge flow rate, smaller pipe

diameters result in higher exit velocities, which facilitate increased mixing. However,

engineering constraints may limit the degree to which the pipe diameter can be reduced. As the

design for the Project has not been finalized, conservative assumptions were used for the

modeled pipe diameter. Pipe diameters that are smaller than those considered in the modeling

will result in increased mixing (and reduced concentrations at the edge of mixing zone).

For the receiving environment, the ambient currents selected for modeling consisted of bounding

cases (5th and 95th percentile for the range of current velocities identified) as well as a typical case

(50th percentile for the range of current velocities identified). Ambient temperatures selected for

modeling also consisted of bounding cases (1st and 99th percentiles) and a typical case (50th

percentile).

The modeling of potential impacts from these discharges found that even under the most

conservative bounding case for each discharge modeling scenario, the discharges were subject

to rapid mixing and consequently experienced substantial reductions in constituent

concentrations within a relatively small distance from the point of discharge.

Guyana has not established a specific thermal discharge limit; therefore, 3°C maximum

temperature rise at a distance of 100 m from the discharge point was used as a reference point

for cooling water and produced water discharges, consistent with recognized international

benchmarks and a level appropriately protective of the marine environment. Table 7-14

summarizes the results of the modeling study of discharges for the most conservative bounding

cases, including percent reduction in constituent concentrations at the 100 m reference distance.

International standards and guidelines and established regulatory requirements provide

appropriate benchmarks for O&G content in produced water, and MARPOL specifies limits on

O&G in bilge water. There are no prescribed limits for the constituents contained in the other

discharge streams.



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Table 7-14



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Assessment of Potential Impacts



Summary of Modeling Results for Most Conservative Bounding Case

(predictions at 100 m reference distance)



Discharge Scenario



Most Conservative Bounding Modeled Parameters/

Case Conditions

Constituents

Minimum ambient

Cooling Water (Thermal) temperature, maximum

Temperature Rise22

ambient current

Minimum ambient

Cooling Water (Residual

temperature, maximum

Residual Chlorine

Chlorine)

ambient current

O&G23

Temperature Rise

Produced Water

Maximum ambient current

Residual production

chemicals

Hypochlorite

Electrolytes

Sulfate Removal & Potable

Maximum ambient current

Biocide

Water Processing Brines

Oxygen Scavenger

Scale Inhibitor

Biocide

Hydrotest Water

Minimum ambient current

Oxygen Scavenger

Corrosion Inhibitor



Hydrate Inhibitor (Gas

Injection Line

Commissioning Fluid)



Minimum ambient current

Hydrate inhibitor

(ethylene glycol); high ambient (either methanol or

current (methanol)

ethylene glycol)



Modeled Results

at 100 m

Ambient

temperature rise

<3°C

89% reduction



92% reduction



98% reduction



99% reduction

Concentration

reduces to <32% of

published No

Observed Effect

Concentrations

(NOECs) under

worst-case

discharge

conditions



In terms of impacts on marine water quality from hydrotesting and production operations,

Table 7-15 summarizes the assigned magnitude ratings based on consideration of the extent of

impact and concentrations relative to the marine aquatic life thresholds identified.



Design specification for the cooling water discharge port were not finalized at the time of the EIA; modeling was

conducted to determine the combinations of discharge port diameters and discharge depths that would result in a

temperature rise less than 3°C at the edge of the 100m mixing zone.

23 Discharges will adhere to a limit of 42 mg/L oil & grease (daily maximum) and 29 mg/L (monthly average) at the

point of discharge (consistent with recognized international benchmarks and appropriately protective of the PDA

marine environment).

22



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Table 7-15



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Assessment of Potential Impacts



Magnitude Ratings for Modeled Hydrotesting and Production Operations

Discharges



Discharge



Cooling Water



Impact Magnitude

Rating



Small



Produced Water



Negligible



Sulfate Removal

& Potable Water

Processing Brines



Negligible



Hydrotest Water



Negligible



Hydrate

Inhibitor (Gas

Injection Line

Commissioning

Fluid)



Negligible



Rationale for Magnitude Rating

Modeling indicates the temperature differential in the water

column will reduce to no greater than the reference

temperature within the recommended 100 meter mixing

zone. At this same distance, chlorine concentrations are

predicted to decrease by 89 percent.

At the 100 meter reference distance, O&G, and residual

production and water treatment chemicals are predicted to

decrease by 92 percent, and temperature rise is predicted to

be less than 3°C

At the 100 meter reference distance, hypochlorite,

electrolyte, biocide, oxygen scavenger and scale inhibitor

concentrations are predicted to decrease by 98 percent.

At the 100 meter reference distance, biocide, oxygen

scavenger and corrosion inhibitor concentrations are

predicted to decrease by 99 to 99.5 percent, depending on

pipe diameter. In addition to the minimal size of the plume,

the release is temporary (approximately 60 minutes or less).

At the 100 meter reference distance, hydrate control fluid

(methanol or monoethylene glycol) is predicted to decrease

by 99.6 to 99.9 percent, depending on the fluid selected. In

addition to the minimal size of the plume, the release is

temporary (matter of hours).



Considering the information presented above, the magnitude of quality and temperature

impacts on marine water quality was rated as Negligible.

Sensitivity of Resource – Changes to Water Quality and Temperature

The sensitivity of the marine environment to elevated constituent concentrations and increased

temperature is considered Low, as the marine fauna (used as representative receptors) would

not be sensitive to chemical constituent concentrations or temperatures at the modeled levels;

furthermore, species would only be expected to be present in the area of discharge for a limited

time.

Impact Significance/Mitigation Measures – Changes to Water Quality and Temperature

These individual magnitude and sensitivity ratings lead to a significance rating of Negligible

for marine water quality impacts from the individual discharges.



7.1.4.5 Summary of Impact Significance Ratings

Table 7-16 summarizes the impact magnitude and resource sensitivity ratings for potential

Project impacts on marine water quality, and the impact significance ratings resulting

therefrom. The significance of impacts was assessed based on the impact assessment



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methodology described in Chapter 4 and summarized at the beginning of this chapter.

Although the modeling results for the individual discharges predict that the impacts associated

with each discharge would be individually insignificant, the potential synergistic effects of

these discharges on sensitive marine biota supports a higher rating than what would otherwise

be supported by the impact ratings for each individual discharge. Therefore, the overall

magnitude of the water quality impacts has been elevated to Small for all Project stages.

Table 7-16



Marine Water Quality - Pre-Mitigation and Residual Impact Significance

Ratings

Pre-Mitigation Proposed Residual

Magnitude Sensitivity Significance

Mitigation Significance

Rating

Measures Rating



Stage



Resource

Impact



Drilling and

Installation



Increased TSS Small

concentrations



Low



Minor



None



Minor



Small



Low



Minor



None



Minor



Small



Low



Minor



None



Minor



Drilling and

Installation

Production

Operations

Decommissioning



Water quality

and

temperature

changes

Water quality

changes



7.2 Biological Resources

For the purposes of this EIA, “biological resources” is intended to include flora, fauna, and the

habitats on which they depend.



7.2.1 Protected Areas and Special Status Species

This section describes the assessment of potential impacts on protected areas and special status

species.



7.2.1.1 Protected Areas

Planned activities of the Project and associated air emissions, effluent discharges, and sound

generation, which will occur approximately 190 km (~120 mi) offshore, will not impact Shell

Beach Protected Area (SBPA), which is Guyana’s only designated protected area within the

Project AOI. The Project’s only potential impacts on SBPA would be as a result of an unplanned

event, which is discussed in Section 7.4.



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7.2.1.2 Special Status Species

Relevant Project Activities and Potential Impacts

Project-related impacts on special status species can be considered a subset of the biological

resource impacts; however, potential impacts on special status species require special

consideration because these species are assumed to have a diminished capacity to recover due

to their conservation status. A list of species occurring in Guyana and their conservation status

is provided in Appendix H.

As all of the marine turtles occurring in Guyana’s waters carry a ranking of Critically

Endangered, Endangered, or Vulnerable, the assessment of potential impacts to marine turtles

(Section 7.2.6) effectively covers the assessment of potential impacts to special status marine

turtles. One of the marine mammals species observed in the PDA carries a Vulnerable status.

Accordingly, the assessment of potential impacts to marine mammals (section 7.2.5) effectively

covers the assessment of potential impacts to marine mammals. For these reasons, marine

turtles and marine mammals are not discussed in this section on special status species.

With respect to fishes, four Critically Endangered species (Atlantic goliath grouper, daggernose

shark, Caribbean electric ray, and largetooth sawfish) and six Endangered species (Nassau

grouper, golden tilefish, whale shark, squat-headed hammerhead, scalloped hammerhead, and

Atlantic bluefin tuna) have the potential to occur in the nearshore and offshore areas of Guyana.

All have been listed as Critically Endangered or Endangered due to a combination of fishing

mortality (both as target species or bycatch), habitat loss, slow maturation rates, and low

fecundity. For the Critically Endangered fish species (all estuarine and nearshore fish species),

habitat loss is an important driver, whereas for the Endangered fish species (fish distributed

farther offshore), habitat loss is a much less important driver than fishing-related mortality.

As the Critically Endangered fish species are estuarine and nearshore species, the planned

activities of the Project will not directly impact habitat for these species. As the Endangered

fishes are distributed farther offshore, they will have the potential to encounter the Project

marine vessels; however, the Project will not permanently alter habitat conditions for these

species. The Project will not impact fishing-related mortality rates for any fish species.

Furthermore, the Project will not impact any of the underlying causes for these species’ declines

across their ranges as cited by the IUCN.

Giant otter (Pteronura brasiliensis) is also listed as Endangered. Giant otters are Endangered due

to a combination of the legacy impacts of historically widespread hunting and present-day

destruction of riparian tropical forests, especially along large interior rivers (IUCN, 2014). The

Project will not impact giant otter habitat, nor will it impact the species’ capacity to recover or

rate of recovery from legacy impacts.

Vulnerable species (other than whales and turtles) include a mix of elasmobranchs (sharks and

their relatives), marine mammals (West Indian manatee), fish (groupers and snappers), and the

Agami heron (Agamia agami). Deforestation, hunting, and use of pesticides are the primary

factors for the Agami heron’s Vulnerable status (BirdLife International, 2012b). Numerous



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factors including habitat loss have been implicated in the declines of fish, and the manatee. The

Near Threatened category comprises fishes (almost entirely of elasmobranchs), the neotropical

otter (Lontra longicaudis), and the semipalmated sandpiper (Calidris pusilla). The elasmobranchs

and bony fishes in both categories are listed primarily due to overfishing, slow maturation

rates, and low fecundity. The neotropical otter is Near Threatened due to a combination of

habitat destruction and local conflicts with fishermen, and is also sensitive to chemical and

organic pollution (Rheingantz, 2015). Deforestation, hunting, and use of pesticides are the

primary factors for the semipalmated sandpiper’s Near Threatened status (BirdLife

International, 2012c). Overfishing is the primary factor implicated in the status of the Near

Threatened bony fish (groupers, snappers, and tunas).

The Project will be located within offshore habitat for several of these Vulnerable and Near

Threatened species and near inshore habitats, but will not alter the value of the habitats or the

capacity of these habitats to support these species. The Project will not affect rates of coastal

habitat loss/recovery, hunting, or residual pesticide concentrations in the Agami heron’s or

neotropical otter’s habitat, so it will not affect these species’ capacity to recover from these

impacts. The combination of overfishing, slow maturation rates, and low fecundity contribute

to long recovery times for listed fishes, but the Project will have no effect on these species

capacity to recover.

Characterization of Impacts

Tables 7-17 and 7-18 provide the definitions used to assign impact magnitude and receptor

sensitivity ratings for special status species (the same rating definitions are employed for

marine turtles and marine mammals in their respective sections).

Table 7-17



Definitions for Magnitude Ratings for Special Status Species



Criterion



Definition

Negligible: Impact is within the normal range of variation for the population of the species.

Small: Impact does not cause a substantial change in the population of the species, or other

species dependent on it.

Medium: Impact causes a substantial change in abundance and/or reduction in distribution

of a population over one or more generations, but does not threaten the long term

Magnitude

viability/function of that population, or any population dependent on it.

Large: Impacts entire population, or a significant part of it causing a substantial decline in

abundance and/or change in and recovery of the population (or another dependent on it) is

not possible either at all, or within several generations due to natural recruitment

(reproduction, immigration from unaffected areas).



Table 7-18



Definitions for Receptor Sensitivity Ratings for Special Status Species



Criterion Definition

Negligible: Species with no specific value or importance attached to them.

Low: Species and sub-species of Least Concern on the IUCN Red List (or not meeting criteria for

Sensitivity

medium or high value), or without specific anatomical, behavioral, or ecological susceptibilities

to Project-related impacts.



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Criterion Definition

Medium: Species listed as Vulnerable, Near Threatened, or Data Deficient on the IUCN Red List,

species protected under national legislation, nationally restricted range species, nationally

important numbers of migratory or congregatory species, species not meeting criteria for high

value, and species vital to the survival of a medium value species.

High: Species on IUCN Red List as Critically Endangered or Endangered. Species having a

globally restricted range (i.e., endemic species to a site, or found globally at fewer than 10 sites,

fauna having a distribution range less than 50,000 km2, internationally important numbers of

migratory or congregatory species, key evolutionary species, and species vital to the survival of

high value species.



For the marine fish species addressed in this section, the starting assumption was that the same

impact magnitude ratings used for potential impacts to marine fish in general (section 7.2.7) are

applicable for special status marine fish. However, additional considerations were applied to

the specific special status species to assess whether these magnitude ratings are appropriate.

Based on these additional considerations, magnitudes for the various special status marine fish

categories were assigned as follows:





Critically Endangered:

o







Endangered:

o



o



o







These species are all nearshore species, and thus will not be subject to the same level of

potential interactions with planned Project activities that form the basis for the various

potential impacts to marine fish in general. Accordingly, a magnitude of Negligible was

assigned.



While Nassau grouper is listed as occurring in Guyana waters, this species is primarily a

coral reef species. The PDA does not include coral reefs and this species is thus not likely

to be present – resulting in a magnitude rating of Negligible.

With the exception of golden tilefish, the other species are pelagic species that are not

prone to congregating around offshore structures; accordingly, potential impacts that

are predicated on marine fish occupying areas around Project vessels (i.e, those impacts

related to marine discharges, vessel sound, attraction by light, and entrainment by

seawater intake) are less of a concern than for other marine fish in general. Further,

related to bottom habitat disturbance and VSP or pile driving sound, impacts are not a

concern for pelagic species. Golden tilefish are known to prefer clay substrates and

would not be expected to congregate over the mud substrate that dominates the PDA.

For this reason, the potential impacts listed in Section 7.2.7 are all assigned a magnitude

rating of Negligible for Endangered fish species.

As described above, the Project will not impact giant otter habitat, nor will it impact the

species’ capacity to recover from legacy impacts, resulting in a magnitude rating of

Negligible.



Vulnerable:



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o



o







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While the same logic applies for some of the Vulnerable fish species as for the

Endangered species described above, some other Vulnerable species are likely to have

similar behavioral characteristics as the marine fish in general; accordingly, as a

conservative measure, the magnitude ratings from Section 7.2.7 were applied (Small for

several potential impacts).

The Agami heron is a coastal species unlikely to be subject to significant interaction with

Project activities, resulting in a Negligible impact magnitude.



Near Threatened:

o



o



The same approach was used for Near Threatened fish species as for Vulnerable fish

species (i.e., a magnitude of Small was assumed, consistent with marine fish in general).

The neotropical otter and semi-palmated sandpiper, are coastal species unlikely to be

subject to significant interaction with Project activities, resulting in a Negligible impact

magnitude.



Considering the information above, Table 7-19 summarizes the impact magnitude and resource

sensitivity ratings for potential Project impacts on special status species, and the impact

significance ratings resulting therefrom. The significance of impacts was assessed based on the

impact assessment methodology described in Chapter 4 and summarized at the beginning of

this chapter.

Table 7-19



Special Status Species - Pre-Mitigation and Residual Impact Significance

Ratings



Group



Magnitude



Atlantic goliath grouper,

daggernose shark,

Caribbean electric ray,

and largetooth sawfish

(Critically Endangered)

Nassau grouper, golden

tilefish, whale shark,

squat-headed

hammerhead, scalloped

hammerhead, and

Atlantic bluefin tuna

(Endangered)



Negligible



Negligible



High



Giant otter

(Endangered)



Negligible



High



May 2017



Sensitivity Pre-Mitigation

Significance

Rating

High

Negligible



256



Proposed

Mitigation

Measures

None



Residual

Significance

Rating

Negligible



Negligible



None



Negligible



Negligible



None



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EEPGL Environmental Impact Assessment

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Group



Several elasmobranchs

(sharks and their

relatives), fish

(Vulnerable).

Agami heron

(Vulnerable)

Several fishes (almost

entirely elasmobranchs),

(Near Threatened)

Neotropical otter,

semipalmated

sandpiper

(Near Threatened)



Magnitude



Small



Chapter 7

Assessment of Potential Impacts



Sensitivity Pre-Mitigation

Significance

Rating

Medium

Minor



Proposed

Mitigation

Measures

None



Residual

Significance

Rating

Minor



Negligible



Medium



Negligible



None



Negligible



Small



Medium



Minor



None



Minor



Negligible



Medium



Negligible



None



Negligible



7.2.2 Coastal Habitats

The planned Project activities and associated air emissions, effluent discharges, and sound

generation, which will occur approximately 190 km (~120 mi) offshore, will not impact any

coastal habitats. Operation of the Guyana shorebase(s) will have little to no impact on coastal

habitat. The shorebase(s) are expected to be located in existing developed areas. The Project’s

only potential impact on coastal habitats would be as a result of an unplanned event, which is

discussed in Section 7.4.



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7.2.3 Coastal Wildlife and Shorebirds

The planned Project activities will not impact any coastal wildlife or shorebirds. The Project will

not involve any direct disturbance of these species and their habitats, and the Project’s air

emissions, water discharges, and sound generation, which will occur approximately 190 km

(~120 mi) offshore, will not impact these species. The use of the Guyana shorebase(s) will have

little to no impact on coastal species, other than common generalist species that are adapted to

living in developed areas. The shorebase(s) are expected to be located in existing developed

areas. The Project’s only potential impact on coastal wildlife and shorebirds would be as a result

of an unplanned event, which is discussed in Section 7.4.



7.2.4 Seabirds

7.2.4.1



Introduction



This section discusses potential impacts on seabirds from planned Project activities. Thirty

seabird species have been documented in Guyana’s offshore waters, including the area in and

around the PDA. Several resident seabird species occur in the area throughout the year and

migratory seabirds typically occur in the area starting late summer, with many remaining

through winter. When seabirds are not breeding, they primarily live in offshore environments,

moving with prey resources and roosting and loafing on islands or artificial structures in the

ocean or simply rafting24 on the ocean surface. The presence of seabirds in a given area is

heavily resource-driven, with individuals and groups of seabirds primarily attracted to prey

concentrations. No evidence suggests that large concentrations of seabird prey (primarily fish)

consistently occur in the PDA that would promote regular use by foraging seabirds. Rather,

seabirds in the area are likely transients, moving opportunistically with schools of fish and

other prey. The turbid conditions in the PDA further reduce the likelihood that the area has

significant importance for foraging seabirds. Further, no islands or artificial structures occur in

the PDA, so the area does not contain any known roosting or loafing areas where large numbers

of seabirds might congregate. As such, it is expected that seabirds occur in the PDA throughout

the year, but at a low density and for short (transient) periods depending on prey availability.



7.2.4.2 Relevant Project Activities and Potential Impacts

Table 7-20 summarizes the potential impacts of planned Project activities on seabirds.



Rafting is a common seabird behavior involving a tight aggregation of seabirds floating on the ocean surface to

form a “raft.”

24



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Table 7-20



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Assessment of Potential Impacts



Project Activities and Potential Impacts – Seabirds



Stage



Project Activity



Presence of drill ships and

installation vessels

Drilling and

Installation



Operation of supply and support

vessels

Discharge of drill cuttings

Discharge of wastewater effluents

Marine aviation



Presence of FPSO

Production

Operations



Discharge of cooling water and

produced water

Discharge of wastewater effluents



 Exposures to permitted discharges,

potentially leading to toxicological or

metabolic impacts.



Operation of supply and support

vessels



 Strike-related injury and mortality,

lighting, disturbance.

 Mortality or injury from bird exposure to

radiant heat from the flare.

 Bird strike by helicopters.

 Ship and helicopter strike-related injury

or mortality.

 Light and sound disturbance from

decommissioning activities leading to

attraction to or avoidance of the exposed

area.

 Removal of a reliable food source if the

FPSO acts as an attractant for seabird

prey.



Non-routine flaring

Marine aviation



Decommissioning



May 2017



Key Potential Impact

 Physical presence of drill ships and

installation vessels (with lighting),

potentially acting as an attractant to

seabirds, exposing them to collision risks,

additional energy expenditure, and

compromised navigation for nightmigrating birds.

 Vessels may be of benefit to some species

that use the vessel for rest or shelter

during long flights or adverse weather.

 Strike-related injury or mortality,

particularly with rafting seabirds.

 Light and sound disturbance leading to

attraction to or avoidance of the exposed

area.

 Exposures to permitted discharges,

potentially leading to toxicological or

metabolic impacts.

 Bird strike by helicopters.

 Physical presence of FPSO (with lighting),

potentially acting as an attractant to

seabirds, exposing them to collision risks,

additional energy expenditure, and

compromised navigation for nightmigrating birds.

 Structures may be of benefit to some

species that use the structure for rest or

shelter during long flights or adverse

weather.



Decommissioning activities PDA

and related vessel traffic



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Potential impacts from seabird exposure to discharge of drill cuttings, produced water, and

other wastewater effluents are expected to be negligible because the effluents are not highly

toxic, the discharges would rapidly mix with ambient water, and the numbers of seabirds

potentially exposed to the effluents is expected to be low. Sections 7.1.3 and 7.1.4 provide

further analysis of the impacts of these discharges on marine sediment and water quality,

respectively. While individual seabirds could be significantly impacted through contact with

the flare structure, its flame, or its radiant heat plume, the likelihood of a seabird being present

in the heat zone when temporary, non-routine flaring is occurring is extremely low.

Accordingly, the assessment of potential impacts on seabirds is focused on: a) direct mortality

and injury of seabirds related to attraction to offshore Project facilities; and b) direct mortality

and injury related to vessel (ship or air) strikes.

Potential benefits from the Project to seabirds are use of the FPSO, drill ship, and installation

vessels for rest or shelter during adverse weather conditions and, if such vessels acts as

consistent attractants for seabird prey, providing a reliable food resource for seabirds. However,

this is not expected to be a significant benefit to seabirds at the population level, and is not

discussed further herein.



7.2.4.3 Characterization of Impacts – Direct Mortality and Injury Related to Attraction to

Offshore Project Facilities

Magnitude of Impact – Direct Mortality and Injury Related to Attraction to Offshore Project

Facilities

Seabirds are known to aggregate around large offshore installations such as drill ships and can

be present in above-average numbers due to artificially increased food concentrations, lighting,

and attraction to the structure itself for roosting (Weise et al., 2001). The impacts of attraction

and aggregation by seabirds around an offshore facility can be both positive and negative and

can vary considerably by species and, more specifically, a species’ typical behavior and the type

and length of use of the impacted area. The structure may be beneficial to seabirds by providing

a resting place or shelter during feeding, migration, or adverse weather in areas where these

places would otherwise not be found.

The negative impacts of seabird attraction to offshore facilities primarily relate to lighting. The

drill ships, installation vessels, and FPSO will operate 24 hours a day, so at night time there will

be a considerable source of artificial light in an otherwise dark environment. Lights on offshore

oil platforms and other installations are known to act as an attractant to seabirds and typical

offshore installation lighting extends roughly 3 to 5 km (2 to 3 mi) around the source (Weise et

al., 2001). Poor weather, such as fog, precipitation, and low cloud cover can exacerbate the

impact of nocturnal attraction to lights, especially when coincidental with bird migrations

(Ronconi et al., 2015).



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Lighting on offshore facilities can be disorienting to night migrating birds, particularly

waterfowl, which migrate using stellar cues that can be obscured by lights (Gaston et al., 2013).

Birds lose their stellar cues for nocturnal navigation under low cloud ceiling or other adverse

weather conditions, and in these circumstances artificial lights become the strongest cues that

birds have for navigation. As a result, they are attracted to the lights and will fly around them

for extended periods, a phenomenon which is referred to in the scientific literature as the

“trapping effect” or “light circling.” The time individual birds spend circling ranges from a few

minutes to several hours to days, with an average of around 15 minutes (Marquenie, 2007). The

consequences of this may be: 1) energy wasted circling the installation, which can be

problematic for individual birds undergoing long migrations; 2) collision with the structure or

other birds resulting in mortality or injury, which can cause individual birds to remain on the

structure for long periods where there is no drinking water; 3) increased exposure to Project

facilities and activities from the attraction to the area and potential exposure to radiant heat

from flaring events, which can cause injury or death; and 4) increased risk of predation due to

weakness, disorientation, or injury following long periods of circling or collision with a Project

structure (Baird, 1990; Ronconi et al.., 2015; Platteeuw and Henkens, 1997; Deda et al., 2007).

As an embedded control to manage lighting-related impacts from the Project, lighting on the

FPSO and major vessels will be directed, where practicable, to required operational areas rather

than at the sea surface or skyward. This will reduce the intensity and locations of lighting that

seabirds may be exposed to by the Project. Further, the Project area is not located within a major

seabird migratory flyway, nor is it known to support large numbers of seabirds; accordingly,

the number of individuals that could be impacted by the potential impacts described above is

expected to be small, meaning the Project would not impact any seabird species at the

population level. As such, the overall magnitude of the impacts from seabirds being attracted to

Project facilities is considered to be Small.

Sensitivity of Receptor – Direct Mortality and Injury Related to Attraction to Offshore

Project Facilities

Seabirds are expected to occur in the PDA throughout the year but at low densities and

primarily as transients moving with prey resources. All of the 30 species of seabirds known to

occur in the area are listed on the IUCN Red List as Least Concern. Several impact exposure

events are likely to occur for seabirds; however, taking into account their conservation status

and that only a few individuals are likely to be impacted rather than whole populations, the

sensitivity of the seabird receptor is considered Low.

Impact Significance and Mitigation Measures – Direct Mortality and Injury Related to

Attraction to Offshore Project Facilities

These magnitude and sensitivity ratings lead to a significance rating of Negligible for direct

mortality and injury impacts on seabirds related to attraction to offshore Project facilities.



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7.2.4.4 Characterization of Impact – Direct Mortality and Injury Related to Vessel or

Helicopter Strikes

Magnitude of Impact – Direct Mortality and Injury Related to Vessel or Helicopter Strikes

Rafting seabirds may suffer injury or mortality from collision with vessels transiting to and

from the FPSO. However, rafters are not likely to be present in large aggregations in the PDA

because of the metocean conditions offshore Guyana – namely a strong surface current, which is

likely to make the surface waters unsuitable for the large aggregations of species that favor

more calm and sheltered conditions. The EEPGL seismic surveys conducted in the Stabroek

Block in 2015 and 2016 did not document any concentrations of rafting seabirds in the area

during their survey period (RPS, 2016). On the rare occasions that suitable conditions for rafting

occur in the PDA and seabirds are present in high enough concentrations to form rafts,

individual seabirds could be susceptible to vessel strike and related injury or mortality.

However, large seabird rafts are easily detectible by oncoming vessels, and these vessels could

maneuver to avoid them if the birds do not move out of the vessels’ path.

Helicopters will be used as a form of transit to / from the Guyana shorebase(s) and offshore

vessels, and could adversely impact seabirds through helicopter strike of individuals flying near

helicopters transiting around or in route to/from the drill ships, FPSO, and installation vessels.

Helicopter trips to and from the PDA are not expected to exceed more than a few each day, so

the duration and number of helicopter-bird interactions is expected to be low.

Given the low likelihood of vessels encountering rafting seabirds and EEGPL’s embedded

control of providing standing instruction to Project dedicated vessel masters to avoid any

identified rafting seabirds when transiting to and from PDA, where safe and feasible, if the

birds do not move out of the vessel’s path, as well as the limited number of helicopter flights

per day to the Project facilities and vessels, the magnitude of this potential impact is Small.

Sensitivity of Receptor – Direct Mortality and Injury Related to Vessel or Helicopter Strikes

On the same basis as described in Section 7.2.4.3, the sensitivity of the seabird receptor to this

impact is considered Low.

Impact Significance and Mitigation Measures – Direct Mortality and Injury Related to Vessel

or Helicopter Strikes

These magnitude and sensitivity ratings lead to a significance rating of Negligible for direct

mortality and injury impacts on seabirds related to vessel or helicopter strikes.



7.2.4.5 Impacts Related to Decommissioning

Decommissioning activities for the FPSO and related vessel traffic may impact seabirds in

similar ways to that described for the installation and production operations stages, including

potential for ship and helicopter strike-related injury or mortality, and light and sound

disturbance from decommissioning activities leading to avoidance of the exposed areas. As



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stated previously in this section, these impacts are expected to impact individual seabirds but

have negligible impacts on seabirds at the population level. Once decommissioning activities

are completed, the absence of the FPSO and the activities of the related support vessels (ships

and helicopters) will remove the attraction - and strike-related risks and impacts to seabirds,

providing a benefit due to the elimination of ongoing risks and impacts. However, should the

FPSO become an attractant for seabird prey or a regular resting place for migrating seabirds

during the production operations stage, removal of the facility could have a temporary adverse

impact due to the removal of a reliable food source and/or rest area. This impact would be

temporary since the birds should quickly adjust to the changed condition.



7.2.4.6 Summary of Impact Significance Ratings

Table 7-21 summarizes the impact magnitude and resource sensitivity ratings for potential

Project impacts on seabirds, and the impact significance ratings resulting therefrom. The

significance of impacts was assessed based on the impact assessment methodology described in

Chapter 4 and summarized at the beginning of this chapter.

Table 7-21



Seabirds - Pre-Mitigation and Residual Impact Significance Ratings



Stage



Receptor

Impact



Drilling and

Installation



Seabirds – direct

mortality and

injury from

attraction to

offshore Project

facilities.

Seabirds – direct

mortality and

injury from

vessel or

helicopter

strikes.



Production

Operations



All Project

stages



– Magnitude



Sensitivity



Small



Low



PreMitigation

Significance

Rating

Negligible



Small



Low



Negligible



Proposed

Mitigation

Measures



Residual

Significance

Rating



None



Negligible



None



Negligible



7.2.5 Marine Mammals

7.2.5.1 Introduction

As described in Section 6.2.6, toothed whales (sperm, melon headed, and pilot whales) and

dolphins (pantropical and bottlenose) are the most likely marine mammal species that could be

encountered in the PDA. Bryde’s whales and other unidentified baleen whales have also been

observed in offshore waters in the PDA. Nearshore, other dolphins such as common, spotted,

and spinner dolphins may be encountered. The West Indian manatee is sparsely distributed in

coastal and riverine waters of the region and may be encountered in the Demerara River area.



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7.2.5.2 Relevant Project Activities and Potential Impacts

As shown in Table 7-22, certain planned Project activities could impact marine mammals either

through direct mortality (vessel strikes), or through disturbance leading to changes in behavior

and reduced vigor (i.e., as a result of light, sound and/or actions from Project activities).

Table 7-22

Stage



Drilling and

Installation



Project Activities and Potential Impacts – Marine Mammals

Activity

Vessel operations



Key Potential Impact

 Injury and mortality from vessel strikes

 Sound exposure leading to permanent

threshold shift (PTS) injury

 Sound disturbance leading to deviation

from area



Power generation

VSP

ROV operations

Pile driving

Lighting on Drill Ship and

Installation vessels



 Sound exposure leading to PTS injury

 Sound disturbance leading to deviation

from area



 Offshore lighting is not considered to have

a negative impact on marine mammals; it

is considered to be an attractant for fishes,

and therefore as a secondary attractant for

some marine mammals.

Permitted drill cuttings and

 Exposures to permitted discharges,

fluids discharge

potentially leading to toxicological or

Permitted liquid waste discharge

metabolic impacts.

Well stream production,

 Sound exposure leading to PTS injury

processing, and storage

 Sound disturbance leading to deviation

operations

from area

Power generation

Permitted cooling and produced  Exposures to permitted discharges,

water discharge

potentially leading to toxicological or

Permitted other liquid waste

metabolic impacts.

discharge

Production Operations Lighting on FPSO

 Offshore lighting is not considered to have

a negative impact on marine mammals; it

is considered to be an attractant for fishes,

and therefore as a secondary attractant for

some marine mammals.

Operation of tankers, tugs, and

 Injury and mortality from vessel strikes

supply and support vessels

 Sound exposure leading to PTS injury

 Sound disturbance leading to deviation

from area

Decommissioning

Vessel operations

 Injury and mortality from vessel strikes

 Exposures to permitted discharges,

potentially leading to toxicological or

metabolic impacts.

 Sound disturbance leading to deviation

from area



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7.2.5.3 Characterization of Impacts

Injury and Mortality from Vessel Strikes

Collisions with vessels can injure or kill marine mammals. Marine mammals possess acute

senses of hearing that they can use to detect approaching vessels, and they have the necessary

swimming speed capability to avoid collisions. Nevertheless, marine mammals are inherently

vulnerable to ship strikes when they surface to breathe or to feed. This vulnerability increases in

shallow nearshore areas where opportunities to maneuver are reduced. Most Project activities

will take place in deep ocean waters, and vessel speeds within the PDA will be low, reducing

the potential for collisions. The only planned nearshore activities will be supply vessels

entering/exiting shorebases, but even at the peak of drilling and installation the incremental

increase in traffic near shorebases will represent a small increase in overall risk to marine

mammals. There is very little potential for collisions to occur within the PDA, but the potential

remains for individual dolphins or whales to collide with vessels transiting between the PDA

and shorebases. The greatest potential for collisions to occur will be during drilling and

installation, when vessel traffic is at its peak; accordingly, the risk of injury or mortality from

vessel collisions will be higher during drilling and installation than during other stages of the

Project.

With respect to the potential for injury and mortality from vessels strikes, EEPGL will utilize the

following embedded controls measure for the Project (see Section 2.11):







Provision of awareness training to Project dedicated marine personnel to recognize signs of

marine mammals at the sea surface; and

Standing instruction to Project dedicated vessel masters to avoid marine mammals while

underway and reduce speed or deviate from course, as needed, to reduce probability of

collisions.



Injury from Underwater Sound

The main sources of underwater sound associated with drilling activities are from the vertical

seismic profiler (VSP)25 activities (generating impulsive sound) and marine vessels (generating

non-impulsive sound). The primary sources of sound from installation activities is from

impulsive sources (impact pile drivers for the FPSO mooring system and for selected SURF

equipment such as manifolds) as well as non-impulsive sources (marine vessels). Sound from

production operations and decommissioning activities is primarily limited to non-impulsive

sources (marine vessels).

Underwater sound can cause impacts on marine mammals due to behavioral changes impacting

life functions (e.g., feeding, breeding, migration route deviations), direct physical impacts

The VSP has a small source that produces seismic impulses over a period of time (for the purposes of this

assessment, is was assumed that the source will produce 20 to 40 seismic pulses, less than 1 second in length, over a 6

to 12 hour period). The wavefield generated by this source is recorded by instruments in the borehole.

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affecting auditory systems, or in extreme cases other physical damage or behavioral reactions

leading to death.



7.2.5.4 Marine Mammal Auditory Functions

The potential for anthropogenic sound to impact marine animals depends on how well the

animals can hear the sound. Sounds are less likely to disturb if they are at frequencies that the

animals cannot hear well. However, when the sound pressure is high enough it can cause

physical injury through non-auditory mechanisms (i.e., barotrauma). For sound levels below

such extremes, frequency weighting may be applied to scale the importance of sound

components at particular frequencies in a manner reflective of an animal’s sensitivity to those

frequencies.

Auditory weighting functions for marine mammals, called M-weighting functions, were

proposed by Southall et al. (2007) and modified by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric

Administration (NOAA, 2013) and Finneran (2015). For this study, results are presented for

both the Southall et al. (2007) M-weighting functions and the weighting functions suggested by

Finneran (2015).

Southall et al. (2007) proposed M-weighting functions for five functional hearing groups of

marine mammals:













Low-frequency cetaceans (LFCs)—mysticetes (baleen whales);

Mid-frequency cetaceans (MFCs)—some odontocetes (toothed whales);

High-frequency cetaceans (HFCs)—odontocetes specialized for using high-frequencies;

Pinnipeds in water26—seals, sea lions, and walrus; and

Pinnipeds in air (not addressed here).



NOAA (2013) suggested further modifications to the LFC function, as well as two variations (for

phocid and otariid pinnipeds) to the Southall et al. (2007) M-weighting curve for pinnipeds in

water. In 2015, a U.S. Navy Technical Report by Finneran (2015) recommended new auditory

weighting functions. The overall shape of the auditory weighting functions is similar to human

A-weighting functions, which follows the sensitivity of the human ear at low sound levels.

Although the inclusion of some species changed (e.g., the addition of hourglass [Lagenorhynchus

cruciger] and Peale’s [Lagenorhynchus australis] dolphins to the high-frequency functional

hearing group), the five recommended functional hearing groups remain those presented in the

NOAA (2013). More information on the marine mammal auditory weighting functions

described above, including the analytical formulation of these metrics, is provided in the

document Underwater Sound Associated with Liza Phase 1 Project Activities (JASCO, 2016). The

auditory weighting functions recommended by Southall et al. (2007) and Finneran (2015) are

shown on Figure 7-4 and 7-5, respectively.



Pinnipeds were included in Southall, et al 2007, but are not relevant to the analysis of auditory impacts because

pinnipeds are either very rare or likely extinct offshore Guyana.

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Figure 7-4



Chapter 7

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Auditory Weighting Functions for Marine Mammal Hearing Groups as

Recommended by Southall el al. (2007)



Source: JASCO 2016



Figure 7-5



Auditory Weighting Functions for Marine Mammal Hearing Groups as

Recommended by Finneran (2015)



Source: JASCO 2016



LFCs (including baleen whales) and MFCs (including dolphins and small whales) have been

observed within or near the PDA, so this section focuses on these marine mammal hearing

groups only. JASCO Applied Sciences conducted underwater sound modeling for the proposed

Project activities (JASCO, 2016). The modeling was performed for two types of sources:

impulsive and non-impulsive.

Impulsive sources such as VSP and impact pile driver activities are typically brief and

intermittent, with a rapid rise time and decay. Piles can be driven to the seabed using different

types of impact hammer types such as diesel hammer, air or steam hammer, and hydraulic

hammer. Diesel hammers produce underwater sound waveforms with each pile strike that are

similar to those of air hammers; hydraulic hammers produce a somewhat different waveform

signature with a much more rapid rise time. Driven piles may be used in lieu of or in

combination with suction piles. A suction pile or (suction caisson) can be conceptually

described as an upturned bucket that is embedded in the marine sediment through pushing or



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by creating a negative pressure inside the caisson skirt. The suction caisson technology

functions very well in a seabed with soft clays or other low strength sediments and is in many

ways easier and quieter to install than driven piles, which must be hammered into the seabed.

For the purpose of this assessment, it was conservatively assumed that only impact pile drivers

would be used (i.e., no suction piles).

In contrast, non-impulsive sources such as marine vessels’ main propulsion systems and

internal machinery (e.g., generators, cranes) can be brief or prolonged, and continuous or

intermittent. However, non-impulsive sources do not have the high peak pressure and rapid

rise time that impulsive sounds do.

Three complementary acoustic models (AASM27, MONM28, and FWRAM29) were used to

predict underwater acoustic fields for the Project’s potential sound sources. The model results

were used to estimate distances to marine mammal injury (permanent threshold shift [PTS]30)

thresholds, based on best available science. Source levels for the VSP were predicted using

JASCO’s AASM.

The VSP source considered here is a six-element source array with a total volume of 1,200 cubic

inches. AASM produces a set of “notional” signatures for each array element based on:









Source array layout

Volume, tow depth, and firing pressure of each element in the source array

Interactions between different elements in the array



For the modeling, source level spectra from measurements of surrogate vessels, including

FPSO, drill ship, pipelaying vessel, tugs, and support vessels, were adjusted to the

specifications of the proposed Project vessels. Surrogate vessels were chosen based on the

similarity in vessel specifications and types of operation.

Underwater sound propagation (i.e., transmission loss) was modeled with JASCO’s MONM

and FWRAM4. The 3D acoustic fields were computed by modeling transmission loss within

multiple 2D vertical planes extending from the source. The underwater sound fields were

modeled for water column sound speed profiles representative of the month of April. This time

corresponds with historically lowest surface temperatures, which lead to upward sound

refraction and longer-distance sound propagation. Predicted sound fields were assessed across

three dimensions, and the received sound level reported at each point in the horizontal plane is

the maximum predicted sound level over all modeled depths for that point.



27



Airgun Array Source Model



28



Marine Operations Noise Model



29 Full Waveform Range-dependent Acoustic Model

PTS is a sound-induced impact that results in a permanent loss in hearing sensitivity due to destruction of sensory

cells in the inner ear. This damage can be caused by long-term exposure to sound or acoustic trauma

(https://www.osha.gov/dts/osta/otm/noise/health_effects/effects.html).

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Based on these reported sound levels in the horizontal plane, two distance parameters were

reported for each threshold:







Rmax, maximum horizontal distance from the source where the predicted sound level reaches

the threshold; and

R95%, maximum horizontal distance from the source where the predicted sound level

reaches the threshold after the 5% of the predicted threshold-exceeding area farthest from

the source is excluded. Regardless of the geometric shape of the “maximum-over-depth”

footprint, R95% is the predicted range encompassing at least 95% of the area (in the

horizontal plane) that would be exposed to sound at or above the threshold.



Six scenarios were considered in this modeling study, which include:

1. The operation of an FPSO vessel,

2. The installation of the FPSO vessel, which includes mooring the FPSO and using several

installation and service vessels, and

3. The installation and operation of a drill center, which includes the operation of a drill ship

and a pipelaying vessel for the installation of subsea flowlines and risers, at Drill Center 2-P,

approximately 13 km (~8 mi) north of the FPSO,

4. The operation of a VSP in the vicinity of Drill Centers 2-P and 2-I,

5. The installation of manifold foundation piles for SURF equipment at Drill Center 2-P

through underwater impact pile driving, and

6. The installation of anchor mooring piles at the FPSO location through underwater impact

pile driving.

The sound footprint for each scenario was modeled to estimate the above-referenced distance

parameters assuming thresholds are equal to the injury criteria prescribed by Southall et al.

(2007) and Finneran (2015). The sound footprints were calculated as frequency-weighted (Mweighted) sound exposure levels (SELs) assuming 24 hours of operation. The sound footprints

account for source-specific sound emission characteristics and site-specific environmental

parameters.

Additional information on the underwater sound modeling methodology, including a detailed

description of all model input parameters and approximate locations of modeled sources for all

scenarios, is provided in the document Underwater Sound Associated with Liza Phase 1 Project

Activities (JASCO, 2016).

Underwater Sound Criteria

No regulations regarding underwater sound exist for Guyana. Accordingly, in the absence of

any such limits, auditory impacts of the Project on marine mammals were evaluated using

Southall et al. (2007) and Finneran (2015) acoustic threshold levels for onset of PTS in LFCs and

MFCs (Table 7-23).



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Table 7-23



Chapter 7

Assessment of Potential Impacts



Acoustic Threshold Levels for Onset of Permanent Threshold Shifts (PTS) in

Low-Frequency Cetaceans (LFCs) and Mid-Frequency Cetaceans (MFCs)



Marine Mammal

Hearing Group



Southall et al. 2007

LFCs (baleen whales)

MFCs (dolphins, toothed

whales, beaked whales,

bottlenose whales)

Finneran 2015

LFCs (baleen whales)

MFC (dolphins, toothed

whales, beaked whales,

bottlenose whales)



Estimated

Auditory

Bandwidth



PTS Onset Acoustic Thresholds (Injury Criteria)

Impulsive

Non-impulsive

Peak Sound

Pressure

Level

(unweighted)

(dB peak)



Sound

Exposure

Level (SEL)

(M-weighted)

(SEL24h; dB re

1 µPa2.s)



Peak Sound

Pressure

Level

(unweighted)

(dB peak)



Sound

Exposure

Level (SEL)

(M-weighted)

(SEL24h; dB re

1 µPa2.s)



7 Hz to 22

kHz

150 Hz to 160

kHz



230



198



230



215



230



198



230



215



7 Hz to 25

kHz

150 Hz to 160

kHz



230



192



207



230



187



Not

available

Not

available



199



Hz = hertz, kHz = kilohertz, dB = decibel; SEL = sound exposure level, 24h = 24 hour exposure, µPa = micro Pascal,

s = second, m = meters



Modeling Results

Tables 7-24 to 7-29 present the above-referenced distance parameters describing modeled

horizontal distances to PTS onset acoustic thresholds for LFCs and MFCs, according to Southall

et al. (2007) and Finneran (2015) criteria, for the Scenarios 1 to 6, respectively. Decommissioning

activities are currently not included in the scope for underwater sound modeling. Activities

during the decommissioning stage would be similar to those of installation activities in terms of

types of sound sources (i.e., marine vessels only). However, decommissioning activities would

be shorter in duration and involve a smaller fleet of marine vessels; therefore, the potential

underwater sound impacts on marine fauna for decommissioning are expected to be less than

or similar to those of the installation scenario (Scenario 3).

The results presented in the tables below account for embedded underwater control measures.

Specifically, EEPGL will utilize the following embedded underwater sound control measures

for the Project (see Section 2.11):









Gradually increasing intensity of seismic impulses to allow sensitive species to vacate the

area before injury occurs (i.e., soft starts), use of Marine Mammal Observers (MMOs) during

VSP, and implementation of other measures recommended by the Joint Nature

Conservation Committee (JNCC, 2010), as applicable; and

Maintaining equipment, marine vessels, and helicopters in good working order and

operating them in accordance with manufacturers’ specifications so as to limit sound levels

to the extent reasonably practicable.



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Table 7-24



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Modeled Horizontal Distances to PTS Onset Acoustic Thresholds for LowFrequency Cetaceans (LFCs) and Mid-Frequency Cetaceans (MFCs): Scenario 1 –

FPSO Operations



Marine Mammal Hearing

Group



Injury Criteria and Distances to Criteria Levels

Southall et al (2007)

Finneran (2015)

Threshold

Rmax (m)

R95% (m)

Threshold

Rmax (m)

(M-weighted)

(M-weighted)

(SEL24h; dB re 1

(SEL24h; dB re 1

µPa2.s)

µPa2.s)



Non-impulsive sources (marine vessels)

Low-frequency cetaceans

215

Mid-frequency cetaceans

215



6

<5



6

<5



207

199



<5

<5



R95% (m)



<5

<5



Source: JASCO, 2016

SEL = sound exposure level, 24h = 24 hour exposure, dB = decibel, µPa = micro Pascal, s = second, m = meters, Rmax

= the maximum distance from the source at which the given threshold is predicted in the modeled maximum-overdepth sound field over all azimuths; R95% = the maximum distance from the source at which the given threshold is

predicted in the modeled maximum-over-depth sound field over all azimuths, after the 5% of the thresholdexceeding area farthest from the source is excluded.



Table 7-25



Modeled Horizontal Distances to PTS Onset Acoustic Thresholds for LowFrequency Cetaceans (LFCs) and Mid-Frequency Cetaceans (MFCs): Scenario 2 –

Installation of the FPSO Vessel, Including Mooring the FPSO and Using Several

Construction and Service Vessels



Marine Mammal Hearing

Group



Low-frequency cetaceans

Mid-frequency cetaceans



Injury Criteria and Distances to Criteria Levels

Southall et al (2007)

Finneran (2015)

Threshold

Rmax (m)

R95% (m)

Threshold

Rmax (m)

(M-weighted)

(M-weighted)

(SEL24h; dB re 1

(SEL24h; dB re 1

µPa2.s)

µPa2.s)



215

215



<5

<5

No value No value



207

199



<5

--



R95% (m)



<5

--



Source: JASCO, 2016

SEL = sound exposure level, 24h = 24 hour exposure, dB = decibel, µPa = micro Pascal, s = second, m = meters, R max =

the maximum distance from the source at which the given threshold is predicted in the modeled maximum-overdepth sound field over all azimuths; R95% = the maximum distance from the source at which the given threshold is

predicted in the modeled maximum-over-depth sound field over all azimuths, after the 5% of the thresholdexceeding area farthest from the source is excluded

“---“ = predicted sound levels at all locations are below injury criteria in the mid-frequency range



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Modeled Horizontal Distances to PTS Onset Acoustic Thresholds for LowFrequency Cetaceans (LFCs) and Mid-Frequency Cetaceans (MFCs): Scenario 3 –

Installation of a Drill Center, Including Operation of a Drill Ship and a

Pipelaying Vessel



Marine Mammal Hearing

Group



Injury Criteria and Distances to Criteria Levels

Southall et al (2007)

Finneran (2015)

Threshold

Threshold

(M-weighted)

(M-weighted)

Rmax (m)

R95% (m)

Rmax (m)

(SEL24h; dB re

(SEL24h; dB re

1 µPa2.s)

1 µPa2.s)



Non-impulsive sources (marine vessels)

Low-frequency cetaceans

215

Mid-frequency cetaceans

215



9

<5



9

<5



207

199



6

--



R95% (m)



6

--



Source: JASCO, 2016

SEL = sound exposure level, 24h = 24 hour exposure, dB = decibel, µPa = micro Pascal, s = second, m = meters, R max =

the maximum distance from the source at which the given threshold is predicted in the modeled maximum-overdepth sound field over all azimuths; R95% = the maximum distance from the source at which the given threshold is

predicted in the modeled maximum-over-depth sound field over all azimuths, after the 5% of the thresholdexceeding area farthest from the source is excluded

“---“ = predicted sound levels at all locations are below injury criteria in the mid-frequency range.



Table 7-27

Modeled Horizontal Distances to PTS Onset Acoustic Thresholds for LowFrequency Cetaceans (LFCs) and Mid-Frequency Cetaceans (MFCs): Scenario 4 – Operation of a

Vertical Seismic Profiler



Marine Mammal Hearing

Group



Low-frequency cetaceans

Mid-frequency cetaceans



Table 7-28



198

198



73

35



68

32



192

187



39

--



R95% (m)



36

--



Modeled Horizontal Distances to PTS Onset Acoustic Thresholds for LowFrequency Cetaceans (LFCs) and Mid-Frequency Cetaceans (MFCs): Scenario 5 –

Installation of Manifold Foundation Piles



Marine Mammal Hearing

Group



Low-frequency cetaceans

Mid-frequency cetaceans



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Injury Criteria and Distances to Criteria Levels

Southall et al (2007)

Finneran (2015)

Threshold

Threshold

(M-weighted)

(M-weighted)

Rmax (m)

R95% (m)

Rmax (m)

(SEL24h; dB re

(SEL24h; dB re

2

2

1 µPa .s)

1 µPa .s)



Injury Criteria and Distances to Criteria Levels

Southall et al (2007)

Finneran (2015)

Threshold

Threshold

(M-weighted)

(M-weighted)

Rmax (m)

R95% (m)

Rmax (m)

(SEL24h; dB re

(SEL24h; dB re

2

2

1 µPa .s)

1 µPa .s)



198

198



1,300

762



272



NV

NV



192

187



1,025

136



R95% (m)



NV

NV



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Table 7-29



Chapter 7

Assessment of Potential Impacts



Modeled Horizontal Distances to PTS Onset Acoustic Thresholds for LowFrequency Cetaceans (LFCs) and Mid-Frequency Cetaceans (MFCs): Scenario 6 –

Installation of Mooring Piles for the FPSO



Marine Mammal Hearing

Group



Low-frequency cetaceans

Mid-frequency cetaceans



Injury Criteria and Distances to Criteria Levels

Southall et al (2007)

Finneran (2015)

Threshold

Rmax (m)

R95% (m)

Threshold

Rmax (m)

(M-weighted)

(M-weighted)

(SEL24h; dB re

(SEL24h; dB re

1 µPa2.s)

1 µPa2.s)



198

198



1,375

725



NV

NV



192

187



1,075

100



R95%

(m)



NV

NV



NV – No value



Modeling results for the six scenarios are presented below. It is important to note these results

assume that the sources are stationary for 24 hours, and that the marine mammal is present

within the stated distance for the entire accumulation period (24 hours). This adds an element of

conservatism to the assessment because no marine mammal would be expected to stay within

the modeled injury zone for the entire 24 hour duration on which the threshold is based.

Scenario 1 – Marine Vessels during FPSO Operations

Modeling predicted that non-impulsive underwater sound for Scenario 1 would attenuate to

PTS onset acoustic thresholds for LFCs and MFCs at maximum horizontal distances of 6 and <5

meters, respectively (based on the more conservative injury criteria for the marine mammal

hearing groups).

Scenario 2 - Marine Vessels during FPSO Installation

Modeling predicted that non-impulsive underwater sound for Scenario 2 would attenuate to

PTS onset acoustic thresholds for LFCs at a maximum horizontal distance of <5 meters (based

on the more conservative injury criteria for the marine mammal hearing group). Modeling

predicted that MFCs would not be impacted at any distance under this scenario because the

predicted underwater sound in the mid-frequency range would be below PTS onset acoustic

thresholds at all locations.

Scenario 3 – Marine Vessels (Drill Ship, SURF installation vessels)

Modeling predicted that non-impulsive underwater sound for Scenario 3 would attenuate to

PTS onset acoustic thresholds for LFCs and MFCs at maximum horizontal distances of 9 and <5

meters, respectively (based on the more conservative injury criteria for the marine mammal

hearing groups).

Scenario 4 – Vertical Seismic Profiler during Drilling and SURF Installation

Modeling predicted that impulsive underwater sound from the VSP for Scenario 4 would

attenuate to PTS onset acoustic thresholds for LFCs and MFCs at maximum horizontal distances

of 73 and 35 meters (~240 and ~115 ft), respectively (based on the more conservative injury

criteria for the marine mammal hearing groups).



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Scenario 5 – Pile Driving during Drilling and SURF Installation

Modeling predicted that impulsive underwater sound from pile driving for Scenario 5 would

attenuate to PTS onset acoustic thresholds for LFCs and MFCs at maximum horizontal distances

of 1,300 and 762 meters (~4,270 and ~2,500 ft), respectively (based on the more conservative

injury criteria for the marine mammal hearing groups). These maxima occur at depths of greater

than 1000 meters.

Scenario 6 – Pile Driving during FPSO Installation

Modeling predicted that impulsive underwater sound for Scenario 6 would attenuate to PTS

onset acoustic thresholds for LFCs and MFCs at maximum horizontal distances of 1,375 and 725

meters (~4,510 and ~2,380 ft), respectively (based on the more conservative injury criteria for

the marine mammal hearing groups). These maxima occur at depths of greater than 1000

meters.

Summary of Potential for Injury Due to Underwater Sound

Modeling results indicate sound levels from vessels and the VSP are insignificant compared to

the predicted sound levels from impact pile driving. The distances to injury thresholds for both

LFCs and MFCs would be determined by sound from pile driving both at the FPSO and the

drill center(s), although the area within which injury could potentially occur would be over 40%

smaller for MFCs than for LFCs. Regardless of which type of pile installation methodology

(impact driven or suction) is used, neither group of marine mammals would be expected to

result in a population-level impact. Based on the premise that marine mammals would actively

avoid physical discomfort associated with Project-related sound, if impact-driven piles are used

MFCs would be expected to generally avoid the area within at least ~700 m from the location

where pile driving is taking place and LFCs would be expected to generally avoid the area

within at least ~ 1,400 m of the activity. Both categories of cetaceans would avoid these areas

for the duration of the pile driving activity. Some species, including many of the larger baleen

whales and dolphins would naturally avoid the area of potential effect (especially around Drill

Center 2) because it would be deeper than their typical maximum dive depths. Others, such as

sperm whales, dive deep enough that they could potentially be exposed to injurious sound

levels throughout the PDA; however they would not be expected to dive to sufficient depths for

a sufficient duration to be exposed to potential injury. PTS (were it to occur) would be

irreversible by definition, but given the depth of the water in the PDA and the physiological

limitations that would prevent marine mammals from diving deep enough and for a long

enough period of time to experience PTS, piling driving is not expected to cause permanent

injury to marine mammals or irreversible effects on their hearing abilities.

Disturbance from Underwater Sound

Anthropogenic sounds below injury thresholds have the potential to mask relevant sounds in

the animals’ environment. This masking can occur due to both natural and anthropogenic

sounds (Hildebrand, 2005). The behavioral changes that can occur due to masking can have

major ecological consequences for marine mammals. These may include changes in biologically

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important behaviors (e.g., breeding, calving, feeding, or resting); changes in diving behavior

(e.g., reduced or prolonged dive times, increased time at the surface, or changes in swimming

speed); and changes in historical migration routes (NMFS undated).

Although the above changes could occur in the PDA as a result of Project-generated sound,

findings from US territorial waters suggest that the population-level significance of disturbance

from impulsive sound over a small area such as the PDA would likely be minor. NMFS

reported that “…available data do not indicate that sound and disturbance from oil and gas

exploration and development activities since the mid-1970s had lasting population level

adverse impacts on bowhead whales. Data indicate that bowhead whales are robust, increasing

in abundance, and have been approaching (or have reached) the lower limit of their historic

population size at the same time that oil and gas exploration activities have been occurring in

the Beaufort Sea and, to a lesser extent, the Chukchi Sea.” (NMFS, 2006). BOEM found that

despite over 50 years of oil and gas exploration and development in the Gulf of Mexico, there

are no data to suggest that these activities are significantly impacting marine mammal

populations (BOEM, 2014). Furthermore, the PDA is not known to be an important feeding,

breeding, or calving area. Therefore, individual animals may divert around an operating pile

driver or VSP to avoid Project-generated sound, but no significant impacts to life functions or

potential population-level implications from underwater sound are expected.

Exposure to Permitted Discharges

The Project will involve routine, permitted discharges of waste streams to the sea. These

discharges would begin during the drilling and installation stages and continue into the

decommissioning stage. As described in Section 7.1.4, these discharges will be treated (as

needed) in accordance with industry guidelines. Furthermore, marine mammals would be

transient in the PDA and their exposure to any discharges would be very limited. Any impacts

would be expected to be acute and recovery would be expected to occur quickly after the

affected individual(s) exit the mixing zone.

Impacts from Artificial Lighting

Artificial lighting is not known to directly attract or disturb marine mammals, so any impacts of

artificial light on marine mammals are likely to be indirectly caused by a potential change in

local forage availability through changes in prey distribution. Fish are known to be attracted to

artificial light, and even plankton are sometimes capable of weak volitional movement through

the water column in response to changing ambient light levels. Small fish and/or plankton

make up a substantial part of most marine mammals’ diets, so to the extent that Project vessels

could facilitate the concentration of plankton and/or small fish at the surface or around the

vessels, food density would increase and marine mammals may also be attracted to the vessels

to feed more efficiently. This impact is expected to be limited to only the immediate vicinity of

the vessels.



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Summary of Impact Significance Ratings

As discussed in Section 7.2.1, because one of the marine mammals observed in the PDA is listed

as Vulnerable by IUCN, the impact assessment was conducted with the conservative

assumption that this Vulnerable species (i.e., sperm whale) would be the receptor for the

potential impact. Accordingly, the sensitivity rating definitions used for special status species

(Table 7-30) was used for all potential impacts.

Table 7-30



Definitions for Receptor Sensitivity Ratings for Impacts to Special Status

Species



Criterion



Definition

Negligible: Species with no specific value or importance attached to them.

Low: Species and sub-species of Least Concern on the IUCN Red List (or not

meeting criteria for medium or high value), or without specific anatomical,

behavioral, or ecological susceptibilities to Project-related impacts.

Medium: Species listed as Vulnerable, Near Threatened, or Data Deficient on the

IUCN Red List, species protected under national legislation, nationally restricted

range species, nationally important numbers of migratory or congregatory

species, species not meeting criteria for high value, and species vital to the

survival of a medium value species.

High: Species on IUCN Red List as Critically Endangered or Endangered. Species

having a globally restricted range (i.e., endemic species to a site, or found globally

at fewer than 10 sites, fauna having a distribution range less than 50,000 km 2,

internationally important numbers of migratory or congregatory species, key

evolutionary species, and species vital to the survival of high value species.



Sensitivity



Considering the description of potential impacts above, Table 7-31 summarizes the impact

magnitude and receptor sensitivity ratings for each potential impact, together with the rationale

for the ratings.

Table 7-31



Impact Magnitude and Receptor Sensitivity Ratings - Marine Mammals



Key Potential

Impact

Injury and mortality

from vessel strikes



Sensitivity

Rating

Medium



Magnitude

Rating

Negligible



Injury (PTS) from

underwater sound



Medium



Negligible



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Rationale for Magnitude Ratings

Although vessel traffic will be substantial

during installation, the likelihood of a collision

event with an Project vessel would be mitigated

due to embedded controls such as standing

instructions to vessel operators, low vessel

operating speeds and typical marine navigation

good practices. Accordingly, the magnitude of

impact considering embedded controls is

considered to be Negligible.

With no control measures in place, magnitude

ratings for VSP and pile driving would be

Medium based on the predicted extent of

impact zones; however the Negligible

magnitude rating is based on several factors,

including:



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Key Potential

Impact



Sensitivity

Rating



Magnitude

Rating



Disturbance from

underwater sound



Medium



Medium



Impacts from

permitted discharges



Medium



Negligible



Impacts from

artificial lighting



Positive



Positive



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Rationale for Magnitude Ratings

 The activity that presents the greatest risk of

injury to marine mammals (pile driving)

would only occur during the initial stages of

the installation phase and at great depth

and therefore represents a short term risk to

mammals.

 EEPGL has committed to using MMOs and

soft start procedures for VSPs in accordance

with JNCC guidelines, and soft starts for

pile driving to further reduce the potential

for impacts on marine mammals.

 Many marine mammals do not dive to the

depths that would be required or remain

submerged for sufficient time to be exposed

to impacts above injury thresholds,

especially near Drill Center 2.

 If an individual mammal were to approach

an operating VSP or pile driver, they would

experience disturbance prior to being

exposed to sound levels above injury

thresholds, and would be expected to divert

away from the source.

The potential impact zone for disturbance

effects is expected to be larger than the extent

for potential injury effects; accordingly, the

magnitude of potential impact is considered

Medium.

Permitted discharges will be treated as needed

prior to discharge and will reduce in

concentration rapidly with increasing distance

from the discharge point. The magnitude is

therefore considered Negligible.

Impacts to marine mammals from Project

lighting are considered to be Positive, due to

the potential for attraction of food sources and

no documented adverse effects on marine

mammals from lighting.



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Table 7-32



Chapter 7

Assessment of Impacts



Marine Mammals - Pre-Mitigation and Residual Impact Significance Ratings



Stage



All Project Stages



Potential Impact



Injury from vessel strikes

Exposures to permitted

discharges (liquid effluent

discharges containing various

chemical substances, plus

elevated temperature during

production operations)

Offshore lighting as an

attractant of food sources for

marine mammals

Injury from sound exposure



Magnitude

Rating



Sensitivity

Rating



Pre-Mitigation

Significance

Rating

Negligible

Negligible



Proposed Mitigation

Measures

None

None



Residual

Significance

Rating

Negligible

Negligible



Negligible

Negligible



Medium

Medium



Positive



Positive



Positive



Negligible



Medium



Negligible



None



Negligible



Medium



Medium



Moderate



None, but robust

implementation of

embedded controls

(e.g., soft start

procedures for VSP

and pile driving)



Moderate



Not applicable



Positive



Drilling and

Installation



Disturbance from sound

exposure



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Based on consideration of all of the potential impacts on marine mammals assessed, the overall

residual significance rating for potential impacts on marine mammals from planned Project

activities is considered to be Negligible to Moderate.



7.2.6 Marine Turtles

7.2.6.1 Introduction

As described in Section 6.2.6, five sea turtle species are found in the Guyanese waters and could

be encountered in the PDA. Four of these species–green turtle, leatherback, hawksbill, and

Olive Ridley turtle–nest on Guyana’s beaches, particularly in the SBPA located near Guyana’s

border with Venezuela. Loggerhead turtles also occur in offshore Guyanese waters but rarely

come ashore.



7.2.6.2 Relevant Project Activities and Potential Impacts

As shown in Table 7-33, planned Project activities could potentially impact marine turtles

through direct mortality (from vessel strikes), disturbance leading to changes in behavior (from

underwater sound, lighting and/or actions from Project activities), and exposures to permitted

discharges. Key potential sources of impact include impulsive sound from acoustic sources

(VSP activity, driven piles) and non-impulsive sound from marine vessels (FPSO, drill ship,

supply vessels, work vessels, barges, light installation vessels, pipelay vessels, multi service

vessels, field intervention vessels, large crane vessels, and tug boats).

Table 7-33

Stage



Drilling and

Installation



Production

Operations



May 2017



Project Activities and Potential Impacts – Marine Turtles

Project Activity

Vessel operations



Key Potential Impact

 Injury and mortality from vessel

strikes.

 Displacement from habitat to avoid

disturbance from vessel activity.



Power generation

 Displacement from habitat to avoid

VSP and pile driving

disturbance from vessel activity.

ROV operations

Lighting on drill ship and installation vessels  Disturbance leading to reduced

fecundity.

Permitted drill cuttings and fluids discharge  Exposures to permitted discharges,

Permitted liquid waste discharge

potentially leading to toxicological

or metabolic impacts.

Vessel operations (e.g., FPSO supply barges,

support vessels, drill ship, platform supply

vessels, fast supply vessels, large crane

 Displacement from habitat to avoid

vessel, fast supply vessel, field intervention

disturbance from vessel activity.

vessel, light installation vessel, and multipurpose support vessels)

Permitted cooling and produced water

 Exposures to permitted discharges,

discharge



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Project Activity

Other permitted liquid waste discharge

Lighting on FPSO

Decommissioning vessels, ROVs



Decommissioning



Key Potential Impact

potentially leading to toxicological

or metabolic impacts.

 Disturbance leading to reduced

fecundity.

 Injury and mortality from vessel

strikes.

 Exposures to permitted discharges,

potentially leading to toxicological

or metabolic impacts.

 Displacement from habitat to avoid

disturbance from vessel activity.



7.2.6.3 Characterization of Impacts

Injury and Mortality from Vessel Strikes

Collisions with vessels can injure or kill marine turtles. Sea turtles tend to spend most of their

time at sea at or near the sea surface, and do not possess the acute sense of hearing or the

swimming speed that cetaceans use to avoid collisions. Sea turtles are inherently more

vulnerable to ship strikes in the shallow nearshore areas (where they congregate prior to

coming ashore to nest) than they are in the open ocean. This increased vulnerability is caused by

the higher concentrations of turtles and reduced opportunity to maneuver in shallow water.

Most Project activities will take place in deep ocean waters, and vessel speeds within the PDA

will be low, further reducing the potential for collisions. The only planned nearshore activities

will be supply vessel entering/exiting shorebases; the anticipated options for shorebases are all

located over 100 km away from the nearest portion of the SBPA, where most sea turtle nesting

in Guyana occurs. There is very little potential for collisions to occur within the PDA, but the

potential remains for individual turtles to collide with vessels transiting between the PDA and

shorebases. The potential for the greatest number of collisions to occur will be during drilling

and installation when vessel traffic is at its peak, so the risk of injury or mortality from vessel

collisions will be slightly higher during drilling and installation than during other stages of the

Project.

With respect to the potential for injury and mortality from vessels strikes, EEPGL will utilize the

following embedded control measure for the Project (see Section 2.11):





Standing instruction to Project dedicated vessel masters to avoid marine turtles while

underway and reduce speed or deviate from course, as needed, to reduce probability of

collisions.



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Injury from Underwater Sound

Hearing capabilities have been studied in only a few individual marine turtles, but the available

data suggest that turtles have limited hearing capacity compared to other marine taxa (e.g.,

cetaceans). Turtles have been shown to respond to low frequency sound, with indications that

they have the highest hearing sensitivity in the frequency range 100 to 700 Hz (Bartol and

Musick, 2003). Startle responses to sudden sounds have also been observed in sea turtles. For

example, McCauley et al. (2000) found that turtles showed behavioral responses to approaching

seismic survey sound at approximately 166 dB re 1 uPa, and more significant disturbance at 175

dB re 1 uPa. Startle responses and other behavioral changes are more likely from high level

pulsed sound sources such as those produced during VSP activities and pile driving, rather

than from non-pulse sources such as those from vessels.

Since turtles have been shown to respond to low frequency sounds, modeling results pertinent

to low-frequency cetaceans (LFCs) (see Section 7.2.5) were used as a proxy for injury predictions

for marine turtles. Modeling predicted that impulsive underwater sound from VSP and pile

driving activities would attenuate to PTS onset acoustic thresholds for LFCs at maximum

horizontal distances of 73 and 1,300 meters (~240 and ~4,270 ft), based on the more conservative

injury criteria for the LFC marine mammal hearing group.

Dive-profile data from tagged Kemp’s ridleys showed that they spent an average of 97 percent

(day) or 87 percent (night) of their time within 1 m of the surface, and observational records

suggest that most sea turtles show a similar pattern. The VSP source for the Project will be

located within 5 m of the ocean surface, so marine turtles may be present at the same general

depth as the source. However, since the sound pressure field is zero at the surface, the sound

levels in excess of the proxy injury threshold will be limited to depths well below the zone

where marine turtles will typically be present. While the horizontal extent of the modeled

potential impact zone is significantly larger for pile driving than for VSP, turtles are not known

to dive a sufficient depth (>1000 m) to enter the zone within which PTS would occur as a result

of pile driving. The only low frequency sound that marine turtles could potentially be exposed

to, other than VSP and pile driving, would derive mainly from vessels operating in the Project

area, and vessel sounds will decrease below the threshold for injury to LFCs at 5 to 6 meters

from the source. At that range, injury from a collision with the vessel poses a more likely risk to

a marine turtle than injury from sound.

Anthropogenic sounds below injury thresholds have the potential to mask relevant sounds in

the animals’ environment (Hildebrand, 2005); however, there are no quantitative data

demonstrating masking impacts for sea turtles and turtles do not vocalize or use sound for

communications, so the potential risk of impacts from masking is considered insignificant.

The highest potential for auditory impacts on marine turtles will occur during VSPs, and the

use of marine observers to detect sea turtles and soft start techniques will further reduce the

risks to sea turtles when VSPs are occurring.



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With respect to the potential for injury from underwater sound, EEPGL will utilize the

following embedded underwater sound control measures for the Project (see Section 2.11):











Gradually increasing intensity of seismic impulses to allow sensitive species to vacate the

area before injury occurs (i.e., soft starts),

Use of MMOs during VSP (although use of MMOs is more effective for identification of

marine mammals, these individuals can also detect marine turtles depending on weather

conditions, and they will be tasked with observing for marine turtles as well) and

implementation of other measures recommended by the Joint Nature Conservation

Committee (JNCC, 2010), as applicable; and

Maintaining equipment, marine vessels, and helicopters in good working order and

operating them in accordance with manufacturers’ specifications so as to limit sound levels

to the extent reasonably practicable



Displacement from Habitat as a Result of Disturbance

During the Project life cycle, levels of human activity (e.g., vessel traffic, equipment and

materials in the water) will be higher than the very low levels that currently exist in the PDA.

Marine turtles are not known to be sensitive to human activity while at sea, so this increase in

human activity is expected to have little or no impact on them within the PDA. Project activity

related to potential disturbance would decrease during the production operations phase, so

impacts on sea turtles would decrease as well. There would be a small increase in human

activity during decommissioning, but that increase would be of relatively short duration and

would not rise to the same level of activity associated with drilling and installation. In

summary, disturbance from human activity would be expected to have little to no impact on

marine turtles throughout the duration of the Project.

Exposure to Permitted Discharges

The Project will involve routine, permitted discharges of waste streams to the sea. These

discharges would begin during the drilling and installation stage and continue into the

decommissioning stage. As described in Section 7.1.4, these discharges will be treated (as

needed) in accordance with industry guidelines. Furthermore, sea turtles would be transient in

the PDA and their exposure to any discharges would be very limited. Any impacts would be

expected to be acute and recovery would be expected to occur quickly after the affected

individual(s) exit the mixing zone.

Disturbance to Nesting from Artificial Lighting

Sea turtles are known to be sensitive to artificial light in close proximity to nesting beaches,

because artificial light can cause a variety of impacts on the behavior of nesting turtles and

hatchlings including reduced nesting rates, premature abandonment of nests/interruption of

the egg laying process, and disorientation of hatchlings (Witherington and Martin 2003; NOAA

2014). There will be artificial lights in the PDA from various vessel types and the amount of

light in the PDA will vary between stages of the Project; however, at no point is offshore light

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expected to have significant impacts on marine turtles because sea turtles are not known to be

sensitive to artificial light in the open ocean and the PDA is located so far offshore that light

from the PDA will not be visible from the shore.

Summary of Impact Significance Ratings

As discussed in Section 7.2.1, because the marine turtles occurring in the PDA carry listings of

Critically Endangered, Endangered, or Vulnerable by IUCN, the impact assessment was

conducted with the conservative assumption that the Critically Endangered or Endangered

species (i.e., Hawksbill, green, loggerhead) would be the receptor for the potential impact.

Accordingly, the sensitivity rating definitions used for special status species (Table 7-34) was

used for all potential impacts.

Table 7-34

Criterion



Sensitivity



Definitions for Receptor Sensitivity Ratings for Impacts to Special Status

Species

Definition

Negligible: Species with no specific value or importance attached to them.

Low: Species and sub-species of Least Concern on the IUCN Red List (or not meeting

criteria for medium or high value), or without specific anatomical, behavioral, or

ecological susceptibilities to Project-related impacts.

Medium: Species listed as Vulnerable, Near Threatened, or Data Deficient on the IUCN

Red List, species protected under national legislation, nationally restricted range species,

nationally important numbers of migratory or congregatory species, species not meeting

criteria for high value, and species vital to the survival of a medium value species.

High: Species on IUCN Red List as Critically Endangered or Endangered. Species having

a globally restricted range (i.e., endemic species to a site, or found globally at fewer than

10 sites, fauna having a distribution range less than 50,000 km2, internationally important

numbers of migratory or congregatory species, key evolutionary species, and species vital

to the survival of high value species.



Table 7-35 summarizes the impact magnitude and receptor sensitivity ratings for marine turtles.

Table 7-36 summarizes the potential impact significance ratings for marine turtles, based on the

discussion presented above. The impact significance ratings were assigned based on the impact

assessment methodology described in Chapter 4 and summarized at the beginning of this

chapter.

Based on consideration of all of the potential impacts on marine turtles assessed, the overall

residual significance rating for potential impacts on marine turtles from planned Project

activities is considered to be Negligible to Minor.



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Impact Magnitude and Receptor Sensitivity Ratings - Marine Turtles



Key Potential

Sensitivity

Impact

Rating

Injury and mortality

High

from vessel strikes



Magnitude

Rating

Small

(drilling and

installation)



Injury (PTS) from

underwater sound



High



Negligible

(other Project stages)

Negligible



Displacement from

habitat to avoid

disturbance from

vessel activity



Low



Small



Impacts from

permitted

discharges

Disturbance to

nesting from

artificial lighting



High



Negligible



Low

(open ocean)



Small

(open ocean)



High

(on or near

shore)



Negligible

(on or near shore)



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Rationale for Ratings

Although vessel traffic will be substantial during installation, the likelihood of a

collision event with a Project vessel would be mitigated due to embedded controls

such as standing instructions to vessel operators, low vessel operating speeds, and

typical marine navigation good practices. The magnitude of impact considering

embedded controls is considered to be Small during drilling and installation (when

higher vessel traffic level will occur) and Negligible during other stages.

Sea turtles spend most of their time within a few meters of the sea surface where the

intensity of sound from VSP will be highest, but sound from pile driving will be

lowest. Considering the relatively small size of the PTS radius surrounding the VSP

and the embedded controls described above, the likelihood of marine turtle

exposure to sound levels above injury thresholds is low, resulting in an overall

magnitude rating of Negligible.

Increased activity in the PDA and between the PDA and shorebases, could cause

turtles approaching nesting beaches from the northeast to deviate from their normal

migration route, but marine turtles are not known to be sensitive to human activity

while at sea. Accordingly, sensitivity is considered Low; this is used in lieu of the

special status rating based on the lack of an anticipated sensitivity. The increase in

vessel traffic between the shorebases and PDA could cause general avoidance in the

nearshore area, but would represent an incrementally insignificant increase in total

vessel traffic in the area.

Permitted discharges will be treated as needed prior to discharge and will reduce in

concentration rapidly with increasing distance from the discharge point. The

magnitude is therefore considered Negligible.

Adults and newly hatched turtles are highly sensitive to artificial light in the

immediate proximity to nesting beaches, but much less sensitive while offshore.

Accordingly, an overall sensitivity rating of Low for the open ocean and Medium for

the nearshore environment was assigned; the open ocean rating is used in lieu of the

special status rating based on the lack of an anticipated sensitivity for this impact.

Project vessels will constitute a source of light that is distinct from the surrounding

environment, yielding a magnitude rating of Small for the offshore environment.

The PDA is located so far offshore that light from the PDA will not be visible from

the shore, yielding a magnitude rating of Negligible for the nearshore environment.



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Summary of Impacts Significance Ratings and Recommended Mitigation Measures - Marine Turtles



Stage



Key Potential Impact



Sensitivity

Rating



Magnitude

Rating



All Project Stages



Disturbance from offshore

lighting

Injury from vessel strikes

Injury from sound exposure



Low to

Medium

Medium

Low



Small to

Negligible

Small

Negligible



Displacement from habitat to

avoid disturbance from vessel

activity

Exposures to permitted

discharges (elevated TSS

concentrations, liquid

effluent discharges

containing various chemical

substances, discharge of

hydrotesting fluids)

Injury from vessel strikes

Injury from sound exposure



Low



Drilling and

Installation



Production

Operations;

Decommissioning



Pre-Mitigation

Proposed

Significance Rating Mitigation

Measures

Negligible

None



Residual

Significance

Rating

Negligible



Minor

Negligible



None

None



Minor

Negligible



Small



Negligible



None



Negligible



Low



Negligible



Negligible



None



Negligible



Medium

Low



Negligible

Negligible



Negligible

Negligible



None

None



Negligible

Negligible



Negligible



Negligible



None



Negligible



Negligible



Negligible



None



Negligible



Displacement from habitat to Low

avoid disturbance from

vessel activity

Exposures to permitted

Low

discharges (liquid effluent

discharges containing various

chemical substances, and

elevated temperature

streams)



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7.2.7 Marine Fish

7.2.7.1 Introduction

This section describes the potential impacts of the Project on marine fish. Key potential impacts

on marine fish assessed include localized changes in the distribution of pelagic species as a

result of altered water quality; localized changes in distribution and habitat usage due to altered

bottom habitats and the presence of Project infrastructure; entrainment in water intakes;

auditory impacts from vessel traffic and installation activities; and the attractive potential of

artificial lights on the FPSO, drill ship, and major installation vessels.

Marine Fish receptors will include pelagic and demersal marine fishes. These groups include a

combination of migratory and resident species. Some receptors will receive a larger proportion

of certain impacts than others. For example, surface dwelling pelagic fish will potentially

experience greater water quality impacts related to planned discharges than will bottomdwelling species, and bottom dwelling species will be more impacted by changes in physical

habitat structures than pelagic species.



7.2.7.2 Relevant Project Activities and Potential Impacts

Table 7-37 summarizes the Project stages and activities associated with each potential impact

assessed. The highest number of impacts would be expected to occur during the initial stages of

the Project, when most habitat-disturbing activities take place and human/vessel activity in the

PDA will be highest. At this stage, impacts will occur throughout the water column and at the

seafloor. Once drilling and installation and hook-up/commissioning are complete and

production operations are the only activities occurring offshore, biological conditions at the

seafloor will return to equilibrium and most of the ongoing impacts will be isolated to the upper

portions of the water column and to the pelagic segment of the fish community.

Table 7-37

Stage



Drilling and

Installation



May 2017



Project Activities and Potential Impacts – Marine Fish

Project Activities

Drilling operations and VSP



Key Potential Impact

 Gill fouling and reduced visibility caused by

TSS.

 Auditory impacts from vessel sound.

 Auditory impacts from sound from VSP and

pile driving.

 Attraction of structure-oriented species.

 Localized improved access to forage for

predatory fish due to prey species’ attraction

to artificial light.

 Exposures to permitted discharges,

potentially leading to toxicological or

metabolic impacts.



Artificial lighting on drill

ship and major installation

vessels

Installation of FPSO

moorings and SURF

equipment, including pile

driving

Permitted liquid waste

discharge



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Stage



Production

Operations



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Project Activities

Permitted drill cuttings and

fluids discharge



Key Potential Impact



Permitted liquid waste

discharge (primarily cooling

water and chlorinated

effluent)

Tanker and tug operations



 Exposures to permitted discharges,

potentially leading to toxicological or

metabolic impacts.



Intake of seawater for cooling

water, injection water, and

ballast water



 Auditory impacts from vessel sound.

 Attraction of structure-oriented species.

 Loss of fish eggs and larvae due to

entrainment of immature life stages.

 Temporary disturbance of deepwater fish

communities and possible gill fouling during

decommissioning (TSS).

 Permanent loss of structural habitat (FPSO

only) and artificial light due to

decommissioning.

 Exposures to permitted discharges,

potentially leading to toxicological or

metabolic impacts.



Abandonment and removal

activities



Decommissioning

Permitted liquid waste

discharge



7.2.7.3 Discussion of Potential Impacts

Changes in the Distribution of Fish Due to Altered Water Quality

The Project will routinely discharge several waste streams to the sea. These discharges would

begin during the drilling and installation stages and continue into the decommissioning stage.

Two discharges unique to the drilling and installation phases will be discharges of drilling

fluids and cuttings. For the initial well sections which will use WBDF, the cuttings and fluids

will be discharged either at the seafloor, causing turbidity around the immediate vicinity of

each well, or from the drill ship. For subsequent well sections, cuttings and residual drilling

fluids will be discharged from the drill ship. For discharges from the drill ship, turbidity plumes

will impact a larger area as the cuttings fall through the water column, but the turbidity plume

will be diluted across a larger area, thereby reducing impacts in any single location. Fish will be

expected to generally avoid these turbidity plumes while drilling is occurring, reducing

respiratory impacts associated with gill fouling, but would be expected to return after drilling is

complete. WBDF and the residual quantities of low-toxicity NABF adhered to discharged

cuttings are expected to have no measureable impacts on fish.



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As described in Section 7.1.4, most of the planned discharges that would occur during

production operations are not known to have negative impacts on marine life or would occur at

negligible volumes, but the increased temperature and chlorine concentrations in the cooling

water discharges were identified as having the potential to negatively impact marine life.

Elevated temperature is known to have several physiological lethal and sub-lethal impacts on

fish including reduced reproductive success, reduced early life stage survivorship, and

increased metabolic stress. Thermal thresholds for such impacts vary widely by species, but

thresholds from the scientific literature range from about +1.5 ˚C to +6 ˚C (Donelson et al., 2014;

Pankhurst and Munday, 2011). Under the conservative assumptions described in Section 7.1.4,

localized sea surface temperatures are expected to increase as a result of the Project, but these

increases are predicted to diminish to 3 ˚C above ambient temperatures within 100 m (~330 ft)

horizontal distance from the discharge outlet. This finding indicates that within 100 m (~330 ft)

of the FPSO, the thermal impact of routine discharges would diminish to near the lower end of

the range within which thermal impacts on fish are expected to occur. Most of the research on

thermal thresholds for these types of impacts has focused on reef or structure-oriented species

that spend their entire adult lives in a small area rather than the open-ocean pelagic species that

would occur near the surface in the PDA. Pelagic species would be much more likely to move

away from a thermal mixing zone that exceeds their optimum range than would structureoriented species, so not only would thermal impacts affect a very small area of the ocean surface

but the species that occur within the PDA would also be resilient to these thermal impacts based

on their propensity to actively avoid suboptimal water temperatures.

Similar to temperature increases, chlorine can also induce a range of negative impacts in fish

including disruption of cardiac function, respiration, and growth. There are no regulatory limits

for residual chlorine in marine discharges in Guyana. Chlorine toxicity depends not only on

dosage (concentration and exposure time) but also on individual species’ sensitivity to chlorine.

This makes defining a single impact threshold for chlorine exposure difficult. While chlorine

concentrations within the immediate vicinity of the FPSO could exceed levels that may result in

toxicity impacts to fish (assuming the fish remained in the area long enough to experience the

impact), concentrations are expected to decrease by approximately 89 percent within 100 m of

the discharge point.

The combined impact of increased temperature and chlorine concentrations would make the

localized mixing zone inhospitable to some species. However, unless they are physically

confined or otherwise prevented from escaping lethal water quality conditions, or water quality

conditions decline so quickly that escape is impossible, fish are usually capable of detecting and

avoiding harmful water quality conditions. This is especially true of water quality conditions

that cause discomfort or are otherwise physically apparent at sub-lethal levels like chlorine, and

is also especially true of the pelagic species that move throughout their lives and would be in

the most direct contact with elevated temperatures and chlorine concentrations.

Decommissioning will cause small turbidity plumes near the seafloor if selected components of

the SURF are removed and as mooring lines from the FPSO are placed on the seafloor. Impacts

from these turbidity plumes will be similar to those associated with drilling and installation,

although they will be smaller and have a shorter duration.

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For these reasons, declines in water quality would be expected to negatively impact fish

abundance in the immediate vicinity of the well heads, SURF, and drill ship during drilling and

installation, the FPSO and tanker(s) during production operations, and the SURF during

decommissioning, but would not be expected to cause significant fish mortality. Limited,

localized impairments in water quality will not be significant enough to cause substantial

changes in fish populations, nor will they significantly impact sensitive or important species

(see Section 7.2.1), but they will likely cause limited changes in the distribution and composition

of the fish community within parts of the PDA. As discussed below, the physical attraction that

offshore facilities can exert on fish, could actually result in net increases in the abundance of

certain fish species, even under slightly impaired water quality conditions. The net impact in

this case is often a shift away from sensitive species (including some pelagic and sedentary

species) toward sedentary or structure-oriented species that are more tolerant of minor water

quality impairments. Any impacts on transient fish swimming through the mixing zone would

be expected to be acute, and affected individuals would be expected to recover quickly after

exiting the mixing zone.

Auditory Impacts to Fish from Vessel Activity, Vertical Seismic Profiling, and Pile Driving

The same sound sources associated with the Project that could impact marine mammals

(Section 7.2.5) could also impact fish. These can be broadly separated into non-impulsive

sources (e.g., vessel sound) and impulsive sources (pile driving and VSP). Hearing abilities and

sensitivities differ significantly among fish species. Certain species can be classified as hearing

generalists or specialists31 based on differences in hearing ability conveyed by specific

anatomical traits. Although hearing specialists are thought to be more susceptible to auditory

impacts within certain audio frequencies than other species, there are no generally accepted

thresholds for auditory impacts in either specialist or generalist species and many species’

hearing abilities have yet to be quantified.

Non-impulsive Sound

A recent EIS conducted by the U.S. Department of the Interior as part of a Programmatic

Environmental Impact Statement for proposed geological and geophysical investigations in the

Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf off the south eastern U.S. in 2014 (BOEM, 2014) contained a

comprehensive review of auditory impacts on fish from non-impulsive and impulsive sources

(including seismic surveys). This study found that fish may experience a range of impacts from

non-impulsive sound including increased stress and threshold shift, and fish may employ

behavioral strategies to avoid the sound source (BOEM, 2014). However, the extent to which

these impacts would actually occur is highly dependent on the hearing abilities and sensitivities



Hearing specialists are species that have developed heightened sensitivities to sounds in a specific frequency range.

This adaptation occurs in some species to facilitate feeding or social behavior. Hearing specialists are distinguished

from hearing generalists, which hear equally well across a wider range of frequencies, but do not possess the acuity

of the specialists within their specific frequency range.

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of the species of fish that occur within the PDA, and these abilities and sensitivities are currently

unknown.

Impulsive Sound

The impact of impulsive sounds on hearing specialists is the most important factor to consider

when rating Project-related auditory impacts on fish because of the following:















Impulsive sound is usually considered more important than non-impulsive sound in terms

of impacts on fish because impulsive sound is the category most often associated with

hearing loss, injury, or death of fish;

Impulsive sources also tend to have more severe impacts on hearing specialist species and

those species with well-developed swim bladders32 than others because they tend to be

more sensitive to auditory impacts especially within the range of frequencies that they are

specially adap