The Managing Director of ENI Ghana says the country may not have to import extra gas to power its thermal plants if the Sankofa fields is able to produce gas at full capacity.
Giancarlo Ruiu explained that this is because of the company’s readiness to increase its daily production of gas from the contractual volumes of 180 million standard cubic feet to some 260 million standard cubic feet per day.
Ghana, has since the administration of former president Jerry John Rawlings maintained a good trade relationship with the oil-rich countries like Nigeria and Equatorial Guinea who have supplied oil and gas.
Due to high energy demand, Ghana together with two other African countries; Benin and Togo had initiated talks with Nigeria to import gas from the Nigeria Gas Company’s Itoki Natural Gas Export Terminal through a 678km gas pipeline.
The gas was to be supplied for use of the Takoradi Power Station at Aboadze, the Takoradi International Company (TICO) and the Asogli Gas plant.
Meanwhile, Managing Director of ENI Ghana Giancarlo Ruiu who spoke to Joy Business said, “with the Sankofa gas there is not in the close future, a necessity to import any other gas.”
“Also because we started with 180 million standard cubic feet per day but we have the capacity in the reservoir to go up to 210 million standard cubic feet per day and even go to 260 with very minor modifications.
“The system I must say is ready to be used. For the gas we have very huge wells with the capacity to even be increased further as I have already told you,” he added.
The TEN project, which produced its first oil in August 2017, also begun the production of gas in the second quarter of 2018.
Moreover, work on the onshore gas reception facility for the ENI integrated Offshore Cape Three Points (OCTP) project at Sanzule in the Ellembelle District in the Western Region is said to be ready.
The facility, which has the capacity to produce 180 million standard cubic feet per day (mscf/d), sufficient to generate about 1,000 megawatts (MW) of power, comes with additional oil production of about 45,000 barrels per day.
The US$7.9-billion investment project will ensure the reliability of power generation to feed industry and commerce.
Meanwhile, even though ENI is ready to deliver the full 180 million standard cubic feet of gas per day to the national grid, the network has not been fully deployed.
“We have been ready since July to pump the required gas according to the contract. As we speak today the network set up cannot take the full volumes, so as of today we are doing about 45 million standard cubic feet per day.
Mr. Ruu further added that “there is a lot of effort and work ongoing to ensure that, the network receives the full with the interconnection with comes with the preparation of the plants to receive the gas.”
Between 2005 and 2009 when the construction of the West African Gas Pipeline started and when gas eventually ran through the pipe, Ghana had held advanced talks with Equatorial Guinea on related subjects of gas importation to augment its energy deficit.
But the country’s power situation had become dire and it was quite obvious the nation could not rely on the supply from Nigeria due to the many various challenges and excuses including the murder of one of the project contractors, moisture in the pipeline, leakages detected on the pipeline, striking workers and state saboteurs in Nigeria.
In August 2012 for instance, Ghana, Togo and Benin did not receive gas supply from Nigeria for close to a year due to severe damage caused to the pipeline by pirates.
Ghana’s indebtedness to the company also resulted in the cut of supply.
The development of oil and gas discoveries such as the Jubilee, TEN and Sankofa fields have brought into question the need for a gas import to power thermal plants or even domestic use.