The Energy Commission is scheduled to meet Jubilee Field operator Tullow Ghana, officials from the Ghana Gas Company, and power producer Volta River Authority to discuss the continuous failing of Tullow Ghana’s compressor at the FPSO Kwame Nkrumah.
“Tullow’s compressor keeps failing every now and then, and this is a concern to all,” close sources told the B&FT.
The compressor used by the oil company works in a similar fashion to pumps. It increases the pressure on a fluid and can transport the fluid through a pipe.
Tullow is responsible for the supply of gas from the Jubilee Oil and Gas Field to the country’s only gas processing plant at Atuabo in the Western Region, but challenges with its compressor have so far limited the output to between 50 and 57 million standard cubic feet of gas per day (MMSFCD) since November.
The inlet and outlet pressure of the gas supplied is about 43.3/35.3 bar.
What this means is that there is very little of the commodity available for processing and for power generation to reduce the deficit in power supply currently being experienced.
While gas supplied from the Jubilee Field may not be the sole answer to the country’s energy crisis, it certainly is an important component in reducing the current power supply deficit that has plunged the country into a power rationing regime over the past year.
The current power supply deficit has been necessitated by the poor inflow of water into the Bui and Akosombo Dams for hydropower generation, as well as funding challenges for crude oil purchases.
Producers expect a peak supply of about 80million standard cubic feet of gas from Nigeria and about 120 million standard cubic feet of gas from Jubilee Field in Ghana, bringing the total supply to about 200million standard cubic feet of gas per day.
However, sources tell the B&FT that “They (Tullow) cannot go up to about 90million now because of the issues with the compressor”.
Gas supply from Nigeria via the West African gas pipeline has also hovered around 70 MMSFCD.
Currently, two thermal units of the VRA at Aboadze are now operated solely on gas supplied by the Ghana Gas Processing Plant, which sources its gas from the Jubilee oil and gas fields.
Two units of the Volta River Authority (VRA) and the two units at the Aboadze thermal plant are currently able to utilise the entire 50 million standard cubic feet of gas per day supplied by the Ghana Gas Company — an entity whose merger with the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) has raised various issues.
Currently, only one unit of TICO thermal plants at Aboadze is operated on gas — the other unit is operated on crude. The VRA expects an increase in gas supply so it can operate the TICO plants solely on gas.