•To save Jubilee Field from difficulties
The Ghana National Gas Company Limited (Ghana Gas) is to build a gas processing plant and associated infrastructure within the next three months to able it to evacuate gas firm the Jubilee Field processing.
The fast-tracking, of the project is aimed at saving the Jubilee Field, the country’s only oil production field, from running into technical difficulties that could bring daily production further down.
The Chief Executive Officer of the company, George Sipa Yankey, explained at a press conference in Accra that the technical difficulties are the result of over re0injection of gas at the field, an action he said could even force operators of Jubilee to opt for gas flaring.
In view of this, therefore he said Ghana Gas resolved to take this initiative to enable it to build a gas processing plant at Atuabo in the Western region, lay pipes that would transport the gas from the offshore Jubilee Field to the plant and pipe the refined gas to the Aboadze Thermal Plant in Takoradi for power generation by the Volta River Authority(VRA).
The construction of the refinery and the laying of pipe onshore and offshore have started in earnest after wrangles over the project site delayed work for months.
The project is estimated at US$750million. Eighty –five% of the cot is to be sourced from the US$3 billion loan contracted from the China Development Bank last year with the remaining 15% expectd to be funded by the government.
A Chinese firm, Sinopec, is to execute the project under an engineering procurement construction commissioning (EPCC) contract signed earlier this year.
Under normal circumstances, Dr Sipa-Yaney said the entire project would have taken three years to be completed “but that has been compressed into one year because of the time constraints and the urgent need to evacuate the gas from the reservoir”.
The government had kicked against gas flaring at Jubilee a long time ago, citing its implications on the environments and the rising demand for gas for domestic and commercial purposes nation-wide as factors.
As a result, operators of the field have since the start of oil production in December 2010 been re-injecting the gas in a reservoir-one that has an 18-month life-span-according to Ghana Gas.
Should the 18 month elapse without the re-injected gas taken out, the CEO said the Jubilee Partners would be forced to either start gas flaring ,construct a new reservoir at an extra cost or the existing one would collapse and consequently slow down daily production of oil at the field.
The 18-month period would elapse in the first quarter of 2013.
As a result, Dr. Sipa-Yankey said the company’s’ target was to “complete the project before the year ends so that we can evacuate the gas from reservoir before it gets damaged”.
“Non-completion is not part of our vocabulary” he said in answer to a question on what harm Ghana Gas would have done to the nation should it not be able to meet the current three months’ deadline.
“We are doing our best to complete the project on time so that we can save the reservoir from collapsing” he added.
The Project Development Director, Mr. Victor Sunu-Attah, said Sinopec had sub-contracted the fabrication of the plant itself to the Canada-based Thermo Design Engineering (TDE).
“The fabrication has started and we expect the plant to be in soon”, he said emphasizing that the plant would be ready to receive its first gas latest by January 2013.
The successful completion of the plant and the subsequent commercialization of the country’s billions of gas reserves is envisaged to help ease the frequent power outage resulting from high demand, stabilize LPG supply in the country and reduce the cost of the electricity generation from crude oil and hydro, while making gas readily available for commercial use.