Total commits to exploration in Guiana, invites NGOs to visit drilling operations

12/11/2018
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French Guiana exploration project. Map: Total.

Paris -- Total is ready to start its exploration campaign on the Guyane Maritime license, located 93.2 mi (150 km) off the French Guiana coast, in the days following the arrival of the drilling ship on site, as authorized by the prefectoral decree dated October 22, 2018.

Conscious of the questions that this campaign could raise, Total wishes to highlight that it is a responsible company that conducts operations while constantly seeking to minimize the environmental risk and is determined to act with transparency. As such, Total commits to the following:
 
Total obviously does not conduct drilling operations in coral reefs

The closest reef identified is located 18.6 mi (30 km) from the drilling point and is not coral. According to the scientists who carried out a 50-day oceanographic survey on-site in 2017, including those from the Paris National Museum of Natural History, it is a discontinuous rocky plateau, on the edge of the continental shelf, presenting scattered biological communities where hundreds of samples have been taken for study (see photos). This plateau is located 18.6 mi (30 km) from the drilling point and at 328 ft (100 m) water depth (compared to 6561.68 ft, or 2,000 m, water depth at the drilling area, see maps).
 
Total will carry out its drilling campaign with transparency

Practically, this means that Total will report on the progress of its work throughout the drilling process, as part of the Committee for Monitoring and Consultation. This commission, led by the authorities, includes approximately 50 economic and social actors.

This approach follows public meetings that Total held in 2017 at its own initiative in several Guianese towns. The Group has also made available to the general public the full file of its exploration project, including the Environmental Impact assessment, recognized for its quality by the Environmental Authority.
 
Total invites NGOs, who wish to do so, to visit its installations to understand the precautionary measures taken on its drilling rig and to create an opportunity for reasoned dialogue.

Total stresses that there are 200 people on board its drilling ship and the five support vessels around it. Their safety is the absolute priority. As such, a safety perimeter forbids navigation of all unauthorized watercraft within 500 m of the well, in compliance with current legislation.  


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