12 August 2016, Sweetcrude, Abuja – After several months of agonizing over the impacts of fitful gas supply from Nigeria, there are finally indications that Ghana may soon free itself from erratic gas supply from Nigeria as the country is working towards being self-sufficient in gas.
Gas supply from Nigeria has, since August 2012, not been regular due to factors, including natural causes, industrial actions and Ghana’s indebtedness of more than $80 million to N-Gas, a Nigerian gas company.
The unreliable supply of gas from Nigeria has affected electricity supply to homes and industries locally over the years.
The Minister of Petroleum of Ghana, Mr Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah, at a mid-year review meeting with heads of agencies under the Ministry of Petroleum, said that plans were far advanced for Ghana to be self-sufficient in gas supply.
For instance, he said, gas supply from the Jubilee oilfields to the gas plant at Atuabo had resumed, while Ghana Gas and Tullow Oil Ghana Limited and its partners were finalising an agreement for the tying of gas pipelines from the Tweneboa, Enyenra and Ntomme (TEN) project to the Atuabo gas plant.
The TEN project, which will produce its first oil on August 18, 2016, will begin the production of gas in the first quarter of 2018.
Moreover, work on the onshore gas reception facility for the ENI integrated Offshore Cape Three Points (OCTP) project at Sanzule in the Ellembelle District in the Western Region was also on course, he said.
The facility, which has the capacity to produce 180 million standard cubic feet per day (mscf/d), sufficient to generate about 1,000 megawatts (MW) of power, comes with additional oil production of about 45,000 barrels per day.
The US$7.9-billion investment project will ensure the reliability of power generation to feed industry and commerce.
The ENI and its partners are hoping to pour the first oil in August 2017 and first gas in February 2018.
Additionally, plans are advanced for the expansion of Ghana’s gas infrastructure.
The Minister said Ghana had learnt its lessons from the challenges faced with the supply of gas from Nigeria.
He was reluctant to state the quantum of Ghana’s indebtedness to N-Gas but stated that the Ministry of Finance had worked out a payment plan which had been agreed on by the parties.
Mr. Buah said metering regulations had been laid before Parliament, adding that there was progress with regulations on health, safety and the environment.
He said all those measures were aimed at strengthening the Petroleum Commission to be the police in the oil and gas industry.
Local content issues and their implementation aimed at ensuring that Ghanaian companies are at the forefront of the industry were also discussed during the meeting.