Italian oil company, Eni, has commenced gas production at the Sankofa field in the Offshore Cape Three Point (OCTP) in a move that is expected to consolidate a reliable source of fuel for the country.
Ghana’s third oil field is expected to provide 180 million standard cubic feet of gas per day (mmscf/d) for the next 15 years.
The quantity of gas is enough to help the country generate about half of its power needs.
Officials of the company who confirmed this to the Daily Graphic yesterday, through an email correspondence, explained that production had started in two of the four deep-water subsea wells connected to the FPSO John Agyekum Kufuor, after the final steps for the commissioning of the offshore facilities were completed.
Presently, production will gradually flow through a dedicated 60-kilometre pipeline to an Onshore Receiving Facility (ORF) Eni built at Sanzule in the Ellembelle District in the Western Region.
The OCTP is the only deep water non-associated gas development (a natural gas occurrence without commercial oil component) in Sub-Saharan Africa for domestic consumption and it is expected to guarantee stable, reliable and affordable gas supplies for power generation in the country.
The multi-billion-dollar project was developed with the support of the World Bank.
Gas from the field is expected to help the country substantially shift from light crude oil-fuelled power generation to a cleaner power source.
The benefits to the country also include savings on power generation, as well as low environmental footprints in power generation.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Eni, Mr Claudio Descalzi, said the project combined value creation with social and environmental sustainability, adding that: “The OCTP gas will contribute to Ghana’s energy stability, which is a prerequisite for industrial and economic growth, and at the same time help reduce harmful emissions.”
The Chief Executive of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), Dr K.K. Sarpong, said his outfit was delighted that the OCTP development had achieved the expected milestone.
“We will support Eni to ensure that gas delivery to the Ghanaian market reaches its expected volumes in the shortest period of time,” he stated.
Eni, through its local partners, Eni Ghana, started operating in the country in 2009. The company is currently the lead operator of the country’s latest integrated independent oil and gas development project, with an interest of 44.44 per cent, while Vitol has 35.56 per cent. The GNPC has a 20 per cent interest.
The project is starting three months ahead of schedule and its accelerated production ramp-up is expected to peak a year ahead of the development plan.
Eni’s current activities in the country are concentrated in the exploration, production, refining and marketing sectors.