An expert in the petroleum sector and the Executive Director of KITE, a non-governmental organization, Mr. Ishmael Adjekumhene, has urged the government to expedite action on the construction of the gas pipeline infrastructure and onshore gas processing plant to help maximize the benefits of the emerging petroleum industry to the Ghanaian economy and its citizenry.
He said unlike the extraction of oil that will primarily impact the economy through the budget – largely because the bulk of the crude oil would be exported – the production and processing of gas can spur the development of several downstream activities.
He added that natural gas has a high forward linkage effects on the economy in that it can provide vital and much-needed input for the energy and industrial sectors.
“Processing natural gas from the Jubilee field would, among other things, make available methane (dry gas) for relatively cheaper production of electricity, feedstock for a petrochemical industry, Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) for domestic cooking and on top of that has the potential of creating far more jobs than the crude oil value chain”, he stressed.
He made the call at a sensitization workshop organized for some selected second cycle institutions in the Greater Accra region. The workshop was on Ghana’s emerging oil and gas industry and formed part of the Ghana Research and Advocacy Programme (G-RAP’s) funded project ‘Facilitating Improved Stakeholder Access to Relevant Information on Ghana’s Emerging Petroleum Industry.’
Mr. Adjekumhene commended the government’s intention to implement the US$1 billion natural gas commercialization project, which would entail the construction of subsea pipelines and a gas processing plant at Bonyere in the Western Region to utilize the associated gas from the Jubilee field.
He however, decried the current situation where as a result of inexplicable delays in the commencement of the gas project, extra resources would be spent to re-inject close to 70 million standard cubic feet of gas every day when production of oil starts in early December, 2010. He added that not only is reinjection of gas going to be an inefficient use or ‘waste’ of much-needed natural resource for national development, it can also compromise the integrity of the Jubilee reservoir if not done properly.
He therefore called on all stakeholders, especially the government, to do everything possible to ensure that there are no further delays in the implementation of the gas commercialization project, which can have extremely positive impact on Ghana’s development process and growth agenda than crude oil.
He said monthly revenue from the natural liquid gas to be recovered under the project is estimated at US$30 million, excluding the substitution value of dry gas to become available for sale to power producers and industries, adding that the time to act is now otherwise the ‘wastage’ of this vital natural gas resource will continue for a minimum of another 18 months, which is the minimum period required for the completion of the gas processing infrastructure”, he concluded.