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TOP STORIES IN THE MONTH OF OCTOBER

  • POSTED ON: November 2, 2015
  • AUTHOR: Editor
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N-Gas sends Ghana panicking

Ghanaians in the course of October to hear dumsor was going to worsen. The reason was that the Nigeria Gas Company (N-Gas) was going to cut gas supply because Ghana owned in excess of 100 million dollars for supplies.

Somehow, a deal was reached and N-Gas and the transporters, the West African Gas Pipeline Company (WAPCo), resolved to continue uninterrupted gas supply to the Volta River Authority (VRA) for its thermal enclaves in Shama and Tema.

But according to the Daily Graphic, a few hours after the Thursday, October 15 midnight deadline, the volume of gas from Nigeria had dropped to zero and one unit of the Asogli Plant in Tema had been shut down due to low gas pressure.

The situation began to correct as supply ramped up from level zero to 30 million standard cubic feet (mmscf).

The Head of Public Affairs at the Ministry of Power, Mr Kweku Sersah-Johnson, said the agreement for N-Gas to supply constant gas to Ghana came on the heels of a courtesy call on the President by a Nigerian delegation in Kumasi.

Also, a high-powered government delegation, led by the Power Minister, Dr Kwabena Donkor, and including the Chief Executive of the VRA, Mr Kirk Cofie, and other officials travelled to Nigeria to confer with the management of WAPCo on a payment plan for the debt.

WAPCo had threatened to cut gas supply to Ghana by midnight on October 16, 2015 if the VRA failed to settle its indebtedness to the company.

Meanwhile, for a whole year, from August 2012 to August 2013, Ghana, Togo and Benin received no gas from Nigeria because the pipeline was damaged by a vessel in Togolese waters.

Even before then supply was hardly up to fifty percent of what was expected, and when supply resumed after the pipeline was fixed, the story remained the same for a long time.

Until recently, volumes supplied to Ghana dropped to an all- time low of between 30million and 50million standard cubic feet per day, making it difficult for the solely gas-reliant Sunon Asogli power plant (200 megawatts) to stay on.

 

Saltpond oil fields no longer profitable

In the past month, the Public Agenda newspaper reported that “There is the urgent need for a critical appraisal of the viability of the continuous operation of the Saltpond Oil field against the backdrop of low crude oil price.”

Quoting the PIAC’s 2014 Annual Report, the paper stated: “With crude oil price projected to hover around US$52 in 2015, the business case for operating the Saltpond field in 2015 has been further weakened considering the fact that the oilfield produced a barrel of crude oil at the cost of US $31.22 in 2014.”

The PIAC Report, which was presented by the Chairman of the Committee, Professor P. K. Buah-Bassuah, also urged the Saltpond Oil field, the Ministry of Finance and the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) to resolve the discrepancies in the production and lifting figures from the field so as to help determine the actual royalties that ought to have been paid as well as establishing the true performance and true state of affairs at the Saltpond Field.

The 2014 Annual Report was the 7th report of the PIAC since its inauguration in September 2011. According to the Committee, this Report should have been published in March this year, but the timelines could not be met due to resource constraints.

Prof. Buah -Bassuah, indicated that there were discrepancies in the crude oil figures from the Saltpond Field. He explained that while figures obtained from the Saltpond Offshore Production Company Limited (SOPCL) pointed to a marginal increase in the year-to-year production of crude oil, figures published by the Ministry of Finance (MoF) and GNPC indicated that production had declined in 2014.

He added, “Similarly the lifting figures from the SOPCL and GNPC sources differed with SOPCL reporting increment in lifting while MoF and GNPC indicating otherwise.”

 

TOR and BOST could merge

The Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation Company Ltd. (BOST) could return into the fold of the beleaguered Tema Oil Refinery, if the Awauh-Darko led management — which has been tasked to look at that possibility — recommends same to government, a B&FT report said this month.

Critics have wondered why Kwame Awuah-Darko has been asked to double as MD of both entities, but he explained to the B&FT that aside from reviving TOR he was also tasked to look at the possibility of merging the two companies and make recommendations accordingly.

He indicated, however, that: “We haven’t got to that stage yet. At this point in time we are bringing TOR out of the coma to bring it into full commercial operations, and the commitment we made is six months; we are two and a half months into the process. We have three and a half months left to go, and it is hard work. But I am so encouraged by the support we have got from the workers of TOR”.

As part of their commitment to bring about a turn around, TOR workers, he said, have agreed to allow their November 2015 salaries — a total GH¢3.8million – to be ploughed back into operations.

“The agreement we signed is that when the plant comes back up into operation, we will pay them back their monies,” Awuah-Darko said.

“I can guarantee you that in the next four months TOR and BOST will be producing the highest quality petroleum products at a lowest price than anybody can import into the country. We believe that this will give our supply agreement with Mali and Burkina Faso high competitive pricing to enable us guarantee additional throughput from the Bolga facility.”

Both entities have over the years been bogged down by a plethora of difficulties, which Awuah Darko himself admits was the result of mismanagement.

“Today you and I pay an additional 1pesewa per litre [as TOR debt recovery levy], which if TOR had been well run we would not have to pay. But as a result of that challenge, we all as citizens of Ghana are paying more for fuel than we actually should.”

Tullow wins GIPC club 100 award

Tullow Oil has taken over from mobile and computer company, RLG Communications, who occupied the number one on the Ghana Club 100 for the year 2013.

The club is a list of the 100 most prestigious business entities in the country, ranked in order of their dominance, level of profitability and how they excelled in their respective sectors of operations in the previous fiscal year.

This year’s award, which is organized by the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC), was on the theme: “Impact investments and sustainable economic development’.

The event, which was held on 22 October, 2015 at the Banquet hall in Accra saw hundreds of companies compete for honors in two major categories and 14 sub categories, the B&FT reported.

Ramel International Group took the second spot in this year’s award, a giant leap from number 64 on the 2012 list while manufacturing firm, Multi-Pro Private Ltd was ranked number three

NRGI, Penplusbytes holds 6th Media training on Extractives

Penplusbytes is partnering Natural Resource Governance Institute (NRGI) held a twelve (12) day training on the extractives sector for a group of Twenty-four (24) journalists from Ghana, Uganda and Tanzania on Monday 5th October to Saturday, 17th October, 2015 at the New Media Hub in Accra,

The capacity building training program which falls under the Strengthening Media Oversight of the Extractive Sectors project seeks to promote effective and consistent media oversight of oil, gas and mining activities as a pathway to increasing the number and quality of stories about extractives across all media platforms.The training programme meant for early-to mid-career reporters will offer a wide range of benefits including providing holistic and comprehensive support to journalists through specialized knowledge and skills modules

Bringing on board experts from the extractives industry, participants were taken through workshop sessions to discuss varied topics that include the Role of the Journalist, Natural Resource Decision Chain, Legal Frameworks and Checklist for Strong and Compelling Stories. Other lessons will be on the Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI), and Revenue Management.

 

The West Africa Oil and Gas Talent Summit 2015

The maiden edition of the West Africa Oil and Gas Talent summit held from 27th -29th October, 2015 took place at the La palm Royal beach hotel. The training saw massive attendance from West African Extractive Human resource persons coming to gather to explore innovations for the sector.

The summit themed ‘exploring talent innovations for organisational and regional competitiveness : strategies to thrive in turbulent times by the Engr Felix Amieyeofori ,the managing director of Energia Limited in Nigeria. Mr Felix Amieyeofori charge key players of the industry to make more rooms for local content to explore young talent for innovations.

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Reporting Oil and Gas project was launched on 4th June 2009atTakoradi, Western Region, Ghana by Penplusbytes (PPB – www.penplusbytes.org) with the vision of providing a one stop online information and knowledge about Ghana’s oil and gas sector
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