31 January 2014, Accra – Ghana’s renowned oil economist, Mohammed Amin Adam has warned that any decision by the government to allow the Jubilee partners to flare gas would risk the lives of several Ghanaians, fish, and other marine lives.
The Jubilee partners – Tullow Plc, Kosmos, Anadarko, PetroSA and the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) are currently seeking the approval from the government to flare gas from the Jubilee field which was discovered in 2007.
Mr. Amin Adam told The Chronicle in a telephone interview that the government should not grant the request of the Jubilee partners to flare the gas, because of its harmful environmental consequences, which directly affects the lives of human beings and water species.
“When the gas is flared into the air, it comes back as acid rain which runs into water bodies, farmlands and crops. If fishes take in the polluted water and are subsequently eaten by human beings, their health would be at risk,” he noted.
According to him, people could get dreadful skin diseases as a result of their exposure to the flared gas.
“Some people can also get eye disease, especially itchy eyes. So whatever the quantity you flare, it is bad.”
Mr. Amin Adam, who is also the Executive Director of the Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP), a leading African energy policy think tank stated.
According to him, it is even worse to flare the gas because the country is faced with power generation shortage, so there was no excuse to flare Jubilee field gas in the first place.
The Jubilee partners’ move to flare the gas, which has been confirmed by the Ministry of Energy, and is being influenced by fears that the oil wells could be destroyed if the gas was allowed to stay underground, beyond the limit allowed for it.
In the midst of these challenges, Mr. Amin Adam blamed the Mahama-led government for not strategizing and lacking the innovative idea to complete the Atuabo Gas project on time.
The oil Economist said the government cannot blame the delay of the project on the controversial $3 billion China Development Bank (CDB) loan, saying “the CDB loan is not responsible for the delay and completion of the gas project, but rather indecision on the part of the government on which financing module we should have used to finance the project.”
– The Chronicle