Interview: George Yankey

Which fields have come on-stream recently and what sites are set to do so in the near term?

GEORGE YANKEY: Ghana’s projected gas demand is expected to exceed indigenous production estimates for at least the next 10 years. Associated gas is currently produced by the Jubilee field in the offshore West Cape Three Points (WCTP) block. The field, which started commercial production in 2010, can produce up to 120m standard cu feet per day (scfd), and it is estimated to have a recoverable gas reserve of approximately 1.4trn cu feet.

The Tweneboa, Enyenra and Ntomme fields, located in the Deepwater Tano block, began oil production in August 2016. Commercial gas production is scheduled to commence by the second quarter of 2017. Currently, 10 out of the 24 production wells have been developed and are producing oil, and the fields are estimated to have a recoverable gas reserve of about 367bn cu feet.

The Sankofa field in the Offshore Cape Three Points block is scheduled to commence commercial production of gas in the first quarter of 2018. The field will produce about 170m scfd and is estimated to have a recoverable gas reserve of 1.11trn cu feet. Other fields, such as WCTP, operated by Kosmos Energy, and Deepwater Tano/Cape Three Points, operated by Hess, as well as exploration within the Voltaian Basin all contribute to Ghana’s potential of becoming a net gas exporter in the near future.

What improvements and upgrades are being looked at to boost gas exports?

YANKEY: No export of natural gas is anticipated for now, though the development of pipeline infrastructure supports the notion that Ghana could very soon export gas. The Ghana National Gas Company is already facilitating the movement of gas across West Africa by working towards interconnection with the West African Gas Pipeline. Coupled with Ghana’s own inland pipeline from Aboadze in the east to Tema in the west, the building blocks of a regional pipeline system are being formed. The extension of Ghana Gas’s pipeline to Côte d’Ivoire in the west is being studied, as the West African Power Pool plans to build a power park west of the Atuabo Gas Plant. Ghana is also exploring the possibility of importing liquefied natural gas (LNG) from 2017, as well as probable reserves and appraised fields offshore.

What challenges will the TEMA LNG project face?

YANKEY: The Tema LNG project will have physical challenges in terms of breakwater and port space, and creating the conditions necessary to secure a floating storage regasification unit (FSRU), with investments in FSRUs widely known to be backed by extensive security arrangements. Difficulties may also arise over financial requirements and disagreements between key institutions on the best approach to the LNG project. The government, through the Ministry of Petroleum, can best address these issues by outlining the priorities that will shape the best LNG solution for Ghana in terms of location, financing, supply and volumes.

How will LNG imports play a role in the future?

YANKEY: LNG will clearly become part of Ghana’s gas import mix over the medium term and will help address the imbalance between growing demand and the indigenous and regional supply. The extent to which LNG is utilised in Ghana will be driven by market demand for domestic electricity and regional electricity needs. The gas aggregator and national oil company, Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), plans to have a unified gas price that represents all gas sources. GNPC is likely to set a weighted average gas price, which will ensure local gas is identical to imported LNG or even Nigerian gas. This is expected to perpetuate more gas consumption.