Ghana expects to start importing liquefied natural gas (LNG) early next year, Mr. Alex Mould, Chief Executive Officer of Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) said, adding that it was in discussion with a range of traders.
He said GNPC is in the market for between 250 million and 500 million standard cubic feet (SCF) of gas per day to be used to help generate power in the country.
“GNPC will be buying the LNG from traders, mostly on a short-term basis because there is an abundance of LNG. We are talking to Qatargas, BP, Shell, Woodside, the usual suspects, to enter into some sort of agreement with them,” Mould told Reuters at an oil and gas conference in Cape Town.
Two import terminal projects are planned in Ghana.
Norwegian shipping company Golar LNG has already supplied a floating terminal to the Atlantic coast port of Tema but sources said there are logistical issues causing uncertainty over when it will start up.
Imported LNG is to be regasified using a dedicated floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) moored off shore.
“First gas imports are estimated at end of first quarter of next year,” Mr. Mould said.
He said officials would be viewing the FSRU, built by South Korea’s Samsung Heavy Industries, in September with “hook-up” plans already in place to help ensure ship-to-ship LNG transfers.
The Ghanaian subsidiary of Quantum Pacific, the industrial investment group owned by Israeli billionaire Idan Ofer, also plans to install a second terminal at Tema.
That terminal was initially due to arrive at the end of 2016, but now looks set to slip into 2017 or 2018 given it still has not secured access to a terminal, industry sources said.
In another development, GNPC has said that first oil production at the offshore Sankofa field being developed by Eni and Vitol will begin in the second half of 2017, and initial gas output early the following year, an official said on Tuesday.
The start-up of World Bank-supported Sankofa will help increase oil and gas output in Ghana, with total oil production seen averaging over 350,000 barrels a day at the end of 2022.
Gas production was seen averaging more than 300 million standard cubic feet of gas a day at the end of 2018, the acting chief executive of GNPC, Mr. Mould, told Reuters at the oil conference.