Natural gas supply from Nigeria to the country since inception of the West African Gas Pipeline project has been “erratic”, says Energy Minister, Dr. Oteng Adjei. Dr. Adjei said daily deliveries have ranged between 120,000 million British thermal units per day (MMBtu/day) to none at all.
Answering questions in Parliament, Dr. Adjei said an average of 80,000 MMBtu per day have reached the country’s terminals since January this year. First gas supplies arrived in Ghana in 2008 and electricity was generated by gas from the pipeline in 2009. However, due to some technical issues and security problems, gas flows were halted for some time but resumed in March 2010.
The pipeline, which runs offshore from Nigeria to terminals in Benin, Togo and Ghana, has an intended initial capacity of 170,000 MMBtu per day. The pipeline is a joint venture between public and private-sector companies from Nigeria, Benin, Togo, and Ghana.
The West Africa Gas Pipeline Company (WAGPCo) operates the pipeline, with ownership in the company made up of Chevron West African Gas Pipeline Limited; Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation; Shell Overseas Holdings Limited; Takoradi Power Company Limited; Societe Togolaise da Gaz; and Societe BenGaz S.A.
In April 2010, the Volta River Authority (VRA) said that it would be the largest single investor in natural gas domestically. The country will need to add another 5,000 Megawatts (MW) of installed power-generating capacity by 2015: currently there is only 2,020MW of installed capacity, 20 percent of which is generated from hydro-resources.
In the next three years, 800 MW of power will need to be added to meet anticipated demand from firms and on-the-books projects. To address the shortages, the coming availability of natural gas via the WAGP and associated gas from Jubilee, as well as other existing or future hydrocarbon discoveries, are being considered to help achieve the country’s capacity goals.
The Energy Ministry has assured that the Jubilee gas infrastructure project is going according to plan and will be delivered within the stipulated deadline. The first phase of the project involves the siting of a gas-processing plant, linked to the FPSO, at Bonyere in the Western Region.
This will be followed in the second phase by the building of a 120km pipeline from the gas plant to power the Effaso barge. On the issue of monies received as training allowances from oil exploration and production companies, the Minister said the funds have been utilised for staff training advanced educational programmes and short courses, staff attachment and development programmes, educational support for public institutions, conferences, seminars and workshops, attachment training for university students and the acquisition of office equipment.
The Minister noted that the current provisions in the Petroleum Agreements and Petroleum Laws do not provision that oil production companies site their headquarters in the host communities. He however said the Petroleum Commission Bill provided for siting operational offices of the Commission in the Western Region, and in other regions where petroleum discoveries in commercial quantities have been made.
“We anticipate that international oil companies will locate their operational offices close to the offices of the Petroleum Commission for easy access,” he said, adding that Tullow Ghana Limited, operator of the Jubilee oil field, currently has an operational office in Takoradi.
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