The uncertainty surrounding the actual time for the completion of the Ghana National Gas Company (GNGC) project could force operators of the Jubilee Oilfield to flare gas.
If the project is not completed this year, the flaring gas, as suggested by many analysts, would be inevitable.
Mohammed Amin Adam, an Energy Analyst, who spoke to this paper in an interview yesterday, said the Jubilee Oilfield partners are approaching a situation whereby they would no longer inject gas back into the wells because that will affect productivity.
‘Our laws allow flaring under certain circumstances, but beyond a certain level, the operators of the oilfield cannot flare. And if they are compelled to flare, it is as a result of our inability to put up the gas structure.’
Mr Adam said Ghana would lose in three ways if such a situation happens.
Firstly, all fish and other marine life will be gravely affected. The effects of this development could even be extended onshore.
Also, he said the power problems facing Ghana currently cannot be solved by the gas supply from Nigeria.
‘Ghana’s demand currently is 250 million standard cubic feet daily but Nigeria, which is supposed to supply 120 million standard cubic feet per day, has been doing 50 million standard cubic feet. Ghana thus stands to suffer from a gas deficit since there will be no reserves.’
According to him, most of the new plants which have been put in place are supposed to be gas fired, but with such deficiency, the energy crisis will continue.
Additionally, he stated that the country will lose revenue. The gas infrastructure was supposed to have been completed a year ago but was slated for the end of this year.
‘Still there are no definite guarantees. The Chinese loan is not being disbursed.’
President Mahama and the Energy Minister, Emmanuel Armah Kofi Buah, after a tour of the facility at Atuabo, recently shared similar sentiments.
After July, this year, Ghana’s inability to complete her gas project will have serious implications for the Jubilee Oilfield, as the wells on the field cannot continue to hold gas.
For a long time, the oilfield operators have been re-injecting a significant portion of the associated gas into the oil wells. They have warned severally that they cannot go beyond July.
The failure of the Chinese to release the loans casts doubts over the likelihood of the completion of the gas project by end of this year.
By Samuel Boadi