Vitol claims first for gas offshore Ghana

Offshore gas facility could help support the African nation’s resource economy.

Ghana christens a floating production facility that could help support the African nation’s resource economy. Photo by Debbie Hill/UPI

The christening of a floating production platform in Ghana could mark the dawn of a new era from its natural resource economy, energy company Vitol said.

Representatives from Vitol and its counterparts helping with the development of offshore gas fields joined Ghanaian President Emeritus John Agyekum Kufuor in christening a floating production, storage and offloading vessel that now bears his name.

“This transformational project, which will produce enough gas to supply Ghana’s thermal power sector to 2036 and beyond, is the first to primarily harness an African country’s natural resources for its own development,” Vitol stated.

A mid-2016 report from Moody’s Investors Service found the potential for higher oil and gas production in Ghana could spur economic recovery at a time of mounting debt.

The World Bank estimated the Ghanaian economy grew 4.9 percent during the first quarter of 2016, the last period it provided data. That’s nearly a full percentage point higher than the same time last year, though the bank warned Ghana could reverse course because of pressure in the country’s oil sector.

“The GDP growth rate is expected to reach around 7.5 percent by 2018, assuming that the fiscal consolidation program remains on track and technical problems in the oil and gas sector are resolved,” the bank reported.

Tullow Oil, which is not party to Vitol’s operations, reported last year that part of the so-called Kwame Nkrumah FPSO positioned off the Ghanaian coast was damaged and no longer functioning as designed.

At around $8 billion, Vitol said its floating facility represented the largest foreign direct investment ever in Ghana since it declared independence in 1957.

“[The FPSO] will facilitate the economic development of the economy by providing a reliable source of environmentally cleaner and more efficient fuel for the country,” Vitol said.

Source: UPI