While Ghana is struggling to get its contractual volumes of gas from Nigeria, the latter is busy trying to build a US$20billion Trans-Saharan pipeline aimed at transporting about 30 billion cubic metres of natural gas to Europe.
Nigeria is said to be seeking a better price for its gas as the price Ghana offers is no longer competitive.
That is not to say that even if the price was right, Ghana could have single-handedly consumed the enormous volumes of gas Nigeria has.
On 29 January Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan announced in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, that Nigeria has already mobilised US$700million to support the project, which when completed will transport the gas from Nigeria’s Warri region through Niger to North Africa’s Algeria northward to Spain and Europe.
“We have raised US$450million in Eurobonds and an additional direct equity contribution of about US$250million in support of this project,” he said.
For want of infrastructure to monetise gas, Nigeria is said to flare the second-largest amount of natural gas in the world, following Russia.
Reports suggest that natural gas flared in Nigeria accounts for 10 percent of the total amount flared globally, and that gas-flaring in Nigeria has only decreased from 575 billion cubic feet in 2007 to 515 Bcf in 2011.
In the first part of a revealing article, Dr. Charles Wereko-Brobbey — who was Energy Policy Adviser to the Government of Ghana, and who superintended over the Italy/ World Bank study that established the West Africa Gas Pipeline project’s technical feasibility, economic viability and environmental sustainability — has asked government to sit up.
“The reality is that NGas has never ever delivered the supply volumes it contracted to. On one rare and uncharacteristic occasion, delivery actually touched 110 million cu ft; showing that if it had the desire, NGas could meet its obligations.
“Through a combined effect of frequent breaches of the Escravos portion of the pipeline and the inordinate delay to the repair of the breach in Togo, it means that the average supply of gas from NGas to date is less than 40% of the contracted volumes; i.e. the 50 million cu ft assured to the Minister of Energy on his recent visit to Nigeria.
“So we there we have it. If we did not hear him right at first, Goodluck Jonathan has confirmed what he told us not long ago that: he is only interested in using Nigeria’s gas for Nigeria’s development. He, Jonathan, has no romantic affection or ties with Ghana — unlike Obasanjo, whose love for and ties with Ghana catalysed and realised the WAGP, including lending us money to pay for our shares. And you know what, GIMPA gave an honorary degree to Jonathan within months of him giving us the two-finger salute.
“It is time for Ghana to open both eyes, wake up from the West African pipe-dream, and plot a realistic course that will take away the gloom of “dum-so dum-so” and restore perpetual and everlasting light onto every Ghanaian living everywhere, to create more wealth so we can drink ‘mortuary cold’.
Source: B & FT
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