Vice-president and Country Manager of Kosmos Energy Ghana, Ken Keag, has said a lot of potential remains for the use of Ghana’s gas resources — which, if properly evaluated and exploited, could significantly transform the power sector.
Speaking at The Economist Magazine’s Ghana Summit in Accra, Mr. Keag said a new focus needs to be brought into developing Ghana’s gas reserves, “which are still kind of locked up”.
The country’s gas potential is yet to be fully evaluated; but apart from the Jubilee Field which has 1.2 trillion cube feet of gas, other isolated gas fields have been discovered — the latest being 1.8 trillion cubic feet of gas in the Western Region by two European companies.
“When I talk about the gas sector, we are looking at resources that are attuned to the internal domestic needs of Ghana,” Mr. Keag said in response to a question on whether Ghana could become globally competitive in gas.
“We really see the gas potential addressing the domestic requirement; there is a power sector that needs fuel. We believe that the power sector can be more developed if we explore for and completely evaluate the gas potential for domestic use.
“We believe that the Western Tano basin has been fairly well explored; there isn’t much left there. But the central Saltpond and Eastern Keta Basins are completely under-explored, and we believe there is additional potential there which we would like to work with the GNPC to fully understand and encourage more investment in that sector.”
He hailed a gas sector consolidation seminar organised by the Energy Ministry as “a very encouraging start” to the kind of engagement he believes is necessary to a common appreciation of the country’s gas resource base.
“Cooperation between the government, the upstream companies and the downstream power sector to really take advantage of the gas resources is very necessary.
Communication is key to having a successful venture, and we believe that building relationships from which trust develops is the way forward,” he said.
While the country eagerly awaits the coming on board of associated gas from the Jubilee oil field — whose output is expected to be 120 million cubic feet per day = the power sector continues to face significant challenges in finding cheap fuel for power generation.
The country is increasingly moving toward thermal power generation, requiring crude oil — or better still gas, which is far less expensive and more environmentally friendly.
There are plans between the government of Ghana and its Indian counterpart to set up a US$ l.2billion gas-dependent fertiliser plant in Nyankrom in the Shama District.
Gas from Nigeria through the West Africa Gas Pipeline has proved to be unreliable: apart from the interruption of supply when the pipeline was broken in August 2012, the 70 million cubic feet per day .,received currently,- according to the Volta River Authority (VRA), is 50 million cubic feet short of the contractual volume of 120 million.
Several Independent Power Producers (IPPs), meanwhile, are feverishly working on starting thermal power plants in the country on the back of expected gas from the country’s own reserves.
Source: By Basiru ADAM/ B&FT
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