Crude oil cannot be used in its raw form; it has to be processed at a refinery in order to turn it into useful products. Refineries are often located close to major centres of population where the demand for oil products is highest. Likewise, the market for gas as a fuel is also where there are major centres of population. This all means that, when planning a new oil and/or gas development, one of the key decisions will be how best to move the oil and gas to where it will be sold.
Where oil production is high enough, and either onshore or close enough to shore, a pipeline is likely to be the most economical way of moving the oil either directly to the refinery or to where it can be loaded onto an oil tanker truck or train to be taken to the refinery. For smaller fields where it would be too expensive to construct new pipelines, or large fields very far offshore, shuttle tankers take the oil from the production facilities to a refinery.
In Ghana, the oilfields are in the Cape three points off the coast of the country. The oil leaves the FPSO straight to the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR). When the oilfields are many thousands of kilometres from the markets for oil, transport by sea is the only practicable way of moving crude oil.
In conclusion, there is the need for Ghana to have good security apparatus in combating crime along the marine coast of the country. Unlike the Niger Delta in Nigeria which is an on shore exploration, the country can still equip the navy to patrol the coastal regions of the country where most of the oil find are located with production on-going. It will also safeguard and facilitate the easy transportation of oil and gas distribution throughout the country.
By: DAVID ADUHENE TANOH www.reportingoilandgas.org