Ghanaian Natural Gas - A Huge Asset

According to estimates, Ghana has between 1.5 Tcf and 1.7 Tcf of gas reserves. These estimates also include reserves, which have not been discovered yet. In 1974, the first reserve of natural gas was discovered in Ghana, in the Cape Three Points Basin. With growing energy needs, this is good news for the country and people.

What does discovery of natural gas means for Ghana?

The country spends between 20 and 30 percent of its exports earnings to import crude oil and petroleum products. With fluctuating and ever increasing prices of crude, the discovery of natural gas means that Ghana can go in for local production. If this production meets even a third of the country’s needs, it will be able to save around $350 million each year. As a result, this money could be used in other areas of the economy.

The discovery of natural oil in the country means that Ghana can stop using liquid fuels in industry and power generation; reduce emission of greenhouse gases; and opt for value added processing of minerals.

Natural gas is a source of clean energy for the country. It will help to spur economic growth and development. Once proper infrastructure is in place, it will attract foreign investment and help in increasing employment in the region. With natural gas in the country, industries and households will benefit. And, if the country exports natural gas, it will earn the much-needed foreign exchange. The people can look forward to reduced electricity bills and lower fuel costs for their vehicles.

What is happening in Ghana today?

Thanks to the natural gas discovery in the country, the impact is already visible. The towns that are closest to the Jubilee Fields have created employment opportunities for thousands of people. Many towns, such as Takoradi, have had their fortunes changed with an influx of workers coming in from other parts of the country.

The government has attracted investors, such as China Development Bank Corp, which has lent $1 billion to the nation for developing its natural gas infrastructure and resources. Furthermore, the Ghana National Gas Co. has signed an $850 million deal for the natural gas project with China Petroleum and Chemical Corp. In return, Ghana will be exporting 13,000 barrels of oil to China every day and these barrels will be sold as per the market price on that particular day.

The Export of Natural Gas from Ghana

The export of natural gas from Ghana will open up a whole new revenue stream for the country. There is already a lot of interest in natural gas, with the China Development Bank Corp. signing an agreement to lend $1 billion to Ghana. Furthermore, the country’s Ghana National Gas Co. has penned another agreement for a natural gas project with China Petroleum and Chemical Corp. for $850 million. Once the export of natural gas begins, under this agreement, China will get 13,000 barrels of oil every day from Ghana and the price would be as per the prevailing price on that particular day.

The Ghana National Petroleum has already drilled many oil wells to get to the natural gas resources and has also managed to get adequate foreign investment for major exploration and production. Other nations, including the United States, are looking at Ghana as a potential supplier of natural gas. So export opportunities for the country are unlimited, especially with rising crude oil prices and with countries looking for greener and cleaner fuel sources.

In February 2013, Ghana will be in a position to produce commercial quantities of natural gas and US is willing to partner the government to produce electricity from natural gas. It goes without saying that natural gas will also be exported to the United States.

So, the outlook for the country and its residents is very bright. Not only job opportunities will be created, it will also boost the economy, further development and improve the infrastructure.


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