The inability of the Ghana Gas Company to complete the gas processing plant has had serious consequences for oil production from the Jubilee Field, with operators having to inject the gas back into the wells.
Currently, the operators of Jubilee Field have pegged average production for the year at 100,000 barrels per day (bpd).
Asked whether the green light to flare means a resultant increase in production, the source said the partners are maintaining 100,000bpd and they are still in discussion with the EPA on volumes of gas to be flared.
The source added that when the production figures change, they will be communicated to the public accordingly.
Bloomberg last week quoted the Energy Minister Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah as saying the gas-flaring will be carried on till October, when the onshore gas facility at Atuabo is expected to be ready.
“Government had to state a ‘no objection’ so that the PA can regulate and allow for as to be flared from now till October when the gas infrastructure will be ready. The flaring will allow for reduction to increase because he re-injection has reduced volumes we could get from jubilee,” he said.
The Jubilee partners, in their bid to salvage oil reduction levels, suggested a temporary gas bypass pipeline to the Volta River Authority’s Aboadze thermal plants — but the latest development means that plan is effectively dead.
But energy policy analyst John Peter Amewu says government approval for gas to be flared is a “mistake”. The decision, according to him, will have an adverse impact on the immediate environment of the Jubilee Field operation heading to acid rain.
He said government may have to reconsider its decision to allow gas to be flared till the gas processing plant is completed, especially as the facility has missed several completion deadlines.
Tullow owns 35.5 percent of Jubilee, which began production in 2010. US-based Anadarko Petroleum Corp. and Bermuda-based Kosmos Energy Ltd. each hold 24.1 percent. Ghana National Petroleum Corp. holds 13.6 percent and Sabre Oil & Gas Holdings Ltd. owns 2.7 percent.
The US$850 million Atuabo Gas Project, which is being constructed by China’s Sinopec with funds from the CDB loan, has suffered several missed deadlines and is now scheduled to receive its first gas in October.
The facility is expected to produce about 90 million standard cubic feet of raw gas per day on completion, and could peak at around 120million standard cubic feet per day.