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The gas launch, a turning point

Article - February 18, 2014
Ghana is setting the stage to begin processing its own natural gas and leave the days of importing behind
According to the US Energy Information Administration, Ghana has some 800 billion cubic feet (bcf) of proved natural gas reserves, yet until these are exploited, Ghana will remain a net importer of gas. Happily for the West African republic, works on a new natural gas facility and pipelines are due to be finished soon and by the middle of 2014, Ghana will start processing its own gas. 
Dr George Sipa-Adjah Yankey, CEO of the Ghana National Gas Company (GNGC), describes these first ever gas infrastructure projects: “They include a 44km, 12-inch diameter offshore pipeline system, a gas processing plant with a capacity of 150 million standard cubic feet (mmscf) per day, and a 111km, 20-inch diameter onshore pipeline system.”
He adds that processed gas will provide inexpensive fuel – as compared with the light crude oil Ghana currently employs – for power producers, which in turn will lower the cost of power to end-users. 
In early November, the Ghana Gas Infrastructure Project, which also includes a liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) facility, was already 75 per cent complete.
“The gas sector is going to be the most important and most influential sector in the economy. It is
going to be the sector around which the development of this country will evolve”

Dr George Sipa-Adjah Yankey, CEO of Ghana National Gas Company
In the short term, the gas will be captured at the Jubilee field. However, this will not be sufficient to cover Ghana’s gas requirement, which tops 400 million cubic feet per day. Dr Yankey points out that additional gas imported from Nigeria via the West African Gas Pipeline Company (WAPCo) will help cover the remainder, yet “historically supply has been intermittent and unreliable.” 
Come 2016 and 2017, when the Tweneboa-Enyenra-Ntomme (TEN) and Eni fields begin production, Ghana will have another 80 mmscf and 160 mmscf per day, respectively.  
The GNGC, which was established in 2011, is looking to take Ghana’s gas beyond the power sector and use it to help diversify the economy. 
“Ghana will also use its gas resources to promote and develop its petrochemical industries, including fertiliser which is important for the agricultural sector,” says Dr Yankey.  “So plans are afoot to prevent Ghana catching the ‘Dutch Disease’.”