The Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) and its partners in the Jubilee Oil Field, have accomplished with verve and surprising goodwill what other oil explorers and producers around world have failed to achieve with grim determination.
The Jubilee partners, which includes, GNPC, Tullow Ghana Ltd. Anardarko Petroleum, Kosmos Energy, Sabre Oil and controversial EO Group have broken industry record which usually pegs the period between oil discovery and production at seven years.
In the case of Ghana’s Jubilee Field, the period between oil discovery and first oil is within a three years threshold. Ghana discovered oil in commercial quantities in 2007 and within this period, the infrastructure requirement for oil production is in its final stages.
On the pristine dock of Jurong Shipyard in far away Singapore, an Eight-Decker vessel which floats on the belly of the sea, with capacity to produce store and offload crude oil, has been completed in record time at a cost of between USD$800-$900 million.
Next week, the Floating, production, Storage and Offloading (EPSO) vessel will begin an epic six week journey to Ghana where it will be deployed to the Jubilee Field, where the subsea infrastructure which is necessary for first oil production is almost completed.
According to officials of MODEC, the company which was responsible for the building the EPSO, the EPSO will this week begin sea trials, where they will “test drive the vessel” ahead of its voyage to Ghana. The company has also been contracted by Tullow to operate the FPSO on its behalf.
The EPSO, was named “EPSO Kwame Nkrumah” at a glamorous naming ceremony in Singapore, officiated by Ghana’s First Lady, Ernestina Naadu Mills but put together by Tullow Oil, operators of Jubilee Field on behalf of all the partners.
According to statistics, The EPSO has an oil processing capacity of 120,000 barrels of oil per day, a storage capacity of 1.6 million barrels of crude oil with reserved ability to produce 160,000 million standard of gas per day. Besides the above, the FPSO also has the capacity to concurrently store and inject 230,000 barrels of processed water.
Ghana’s FPSO, which spots some of the industry’s biggest oil processor known as “turret” is 60 meters wide and 330 meters in length. It weighs approximately 12,500 tons and has its own water treatment plant, electricity generation and accommodation unit of 120 rooms.
Ghana’s First Lady, Ernestina Naadu Mills, was chosen as the special guest of honor for a special ceremony in Jurong Shipyard in Singapore, to name the FPSO. It is called “FPSO Kwame Nkrumah” named after Ghana’s illustrious first President who initiated Ghana’s first investment in oil exploration.
According to Aiden Heavey, CEO of Tullow, the First Lady was chosen to chair the naming ceremony because there is a tradition in the oil industry to allow women to name oil vessels because of the superstitious belief that women are luckier.
Speaking at the naming ceremony, Ghana’s first lady, said “Ghana is on the verge of becoming an oil producing country sometime in the last quarter of 2010 when under the phase 1 of the Jubilee Field project, 120,000 barrels of oil a day and 120 million standard of cubic feet of dry gas per day will be produced.”
The first lady who stunned onlookers by climbing the 8-storey vessel after she refused to be lifted by a crane, inspected all facilities onboard the vessel and said “I now name this vessel FPSO Kwame Nkrumah. May all who work on her be blessed to bring prosperity to Ghana.”
She told the gathering that the government is conscious of the fact that the oil and gas find is an opportunity to enhance the country’s development and has as a step taken very important initiatives to make the Jubilee project happen and in a manner that will ensure maximum benefits to all major stakeholders in Ghana’s oil. “The government will not allow its emerging oil and gas industry to become a curse to the country.
Consequently, fresh legislation and policies have been developed to ensure transparency and accountability in the industry. “The Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) is to be extended to the oil and gas industry. Public consultation has begun on two bills ahead of submission to Parliament” she said.
She also noted that one of the bills will amend the petroleum Act whilst the other, the Revenue Management Bill, will set up an independent body to direct effective administration of oil revenues adding that a “comprehensive draft Oil and Gas Local Content and Participation Policy Framework has been developed and is being discussed by stakeholders before it is submitted to Parliament for enactment to law.
The first Lady highlighted the local content policy as including “participation of Ghanaian citizens in the equity holdings in the exploration and production, use of goods and services produced by or provided in Ghana for operations in the oil and gas industry in the preference to foreign goods and services.”
The policy “submission of plans and programmes by operator for training of Ghanaians in all job classifications and all aspects of petroleum activities as well as support local training/technical institutions by both Government and petroleum operators to develop the requisite capacity to international standards in all aspects of the petroleum industry.”
She noted that in spite of the laudable effort of the government in positioning the nation ahead of the oil production, “our detractors will not acknowledge these laudable efforts. This morning’s ceremony is yet another milestone in Ghana’s journey to pumping first oil”
She noted that it was assuring that the FPSO was named after Kwame Nkrumah, a man whose greatest ambition, the first lady said “was to move the wheels of progress in Ghana to the level of other developed nations worldwide.”
The first lady also congratulated the jubilee partners, Tullow Oil, Andarko Petroleum, Kosmos Energy, Sabre Oil and Gas and EO Group for their untiring efforts and financial contributions to the jubilee project and delivering one of the most cost effective operations in West Africa.
Source: The Enquirer