A vessel to be used for the production, storage and offloading of oil in Ghana’s Jubilee Fields has been officially named the ‘FSPO Kwame Nkrumah’ at an inauguration ceremony in Singapore to edge Ghana closer to the club of oil-producing countries.
With the inauguration ceremony, which took place at the Jurong Shipyard in Singapore, having been completed and the expected departure of the vessel for the Jubilee Fields this week, Ghana remains firmly on schedule to deliver its first oil in the fourth quarter of this year.
The FPSO is a tanker that receives fluids from a sub-sea oil well and processes it on board to produce crude oil, which is then exported to a refinery by shuttle tankers.
The ‘FPSO Kwame Nkrumah’ is the first such project to be carried out for offshore Ghana and it is expected, under Phase I of the Jubilee Field project, to produce 120,000 barrels of oil a day and 120 million standard cubic feet of dry gas per day.
For the handful of Ghanaians, led by the First Lady, Mrs Ernestina Naadu Mills, at the venue for the inauguration ceremony, the inscription below the name after it had been unveiled aptly summed up the wish of many Ghanaians that the oil venture that the country was about to engage in would bring prosperity to the over 22 million citizens of the country.
“May all who work on her be blessed to bring prosperity to Ghana,” it said.
Mrs Mills, who performed the naming ceremony, echoed this when she said, “Many of our people see the oil discovery as our last opportunity for national prosperity that has eluded our nation all this while.”
She noted that the oil and gas find in the Jubilee Fields was an opportunity to enhance Ghana’s growth and development, adding that all sectors of the economy were positioning themselves for an accelerated growth driven by the oil and gas industry.
She said as a result, the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) would be extended to the oil industry, while public consultations had begun on two bills ahead of their submission to Parliament.
One of the bills, she said, would amend the Petroleum Act, while the other, the Revenue Management Bill, would set up an independent body to direct the effective administration of oil revenues.
The First Lady said in addition to these, a comprehensive draft Oil and Gas Local Content and Participatory Policy Framework had been developed and was being discussed by stakeholders before its submission to Parliament.
She noted that those initiatives were significant in that they were a demonstration of the fact that the country was gearing up for the first oil in the last quarter of the year.
Mrs Mills said the vessel was named after Dr Nkrumah in fulfilment of his greatest ambition of moving the wheels of Ghana’s progress to the levels of other developed nations world-wide.
She acknowledged the untiring efforts and financial contributions of Tullow Oil, the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), Anadarko Petroleum, Kosmos, Sabre Oil and Gas and the EO Group to the Jubilee project which she said had enabled it to be executed in a more cost-efficient manner.
The First Lady used the occasion to assure Ghana’s development partners, as well as prospective investors, that “Ghana is a safe place to invest their money. Every investment in Ghana should be considered safe, provided it is in compliance with the laws of Ghana”.
“My assurance is that the government will not do anything to frustrate their investment in Ghana,” she added.
Mrs Mills was later taken on a tour of the vessel.
The construction of the ‘FPSO Kwame Nkrumah’ began in 2008 when MODEC, a leading international company in the FPSO industry that has been providing engineering, construction, installation and operation services for the last 25 years, awarded the Jurong Shipyard a $112 million contract to convert a tanker, ‘Ohdoh’, for deployment on the Jubilee Field offshore Ghana.
With a width of 65 metres and length of 330 metres, the FPSO vessel is about the size of three standard football fields put together and it is expected to play a principal role in Ghana’s oil drilling.
Last Saturday’s ceremony marked a significant milestone in the Jubilee Phase One development programme, as it reaffirms the commitment of the partners to the project and underlines their capacity to manage and produce the Jubilee Fields.
In a statement as part of the naming ceremony, Dai Jones, President and General Manager of Tullow Ghana, operators of the Jubilee Fields, said Tullow was happy to be given the opportunity “to be creating a unique and historic moment that will be a legacy for Ghana”.
He said the naming ceremony signified the readiness of the vessel to sail to Ghana and that the Jubilee partners had reached an advanced phase of their effort at producing oil on schedule.
The Managing Director of the GNPC, Nana Boakye Asafu-Adjei, said the naming of the vessel after Dr Nkrumah was a “small but fitting acknowledgement of the role of our founding President in articulating and inspiring this quest”.
At the naming ceremony were Dr Joe Oteng-Adjei, Ghana’s Minister of Energy; Mr Moses Asaga, Chairman of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Energy; Mr Kwame Tenkorang, Ghana’s Ambassador to Japan, who is also responsible for Singapore; Mrs Mamle Kofi, Ghana’s Ambassador to China, as well as chief executives of the development partners.
Later at a lunch in honour of the First Lady, Dr Oteng-Adjei presented a message from President J.E.A. Mills to the development partners.