Guyana will be looking to Ghana for guidance as the government moves towards establishing a Gas Master Plan (GMP) to develop the million-billion dollar gas-to-shore project.
This, according to Minister of Natural Resources, Vickram Bharrat, who at the sidelines of an event on Thursday evening noted that collaboration in this area is as a result of the recent Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Petroleum Commission of Ghana.
“We discovered gas in 2015 but the focus has always been on oil and there is a lot we can earn from gas too, apart from the gas to energy project to reduce electricity costs,” he explained.
A GMP plays an integral part in guaranteeing that a country’s natural gas resources are developed in a rational and sustainable manner and could potentially see the country being a major player in the international gas market – that is if the plan is executed effectively.
A Gas Master Plan contains projections of the country’s demand and supply along with the infrastructure requirements that are needed to realise the country’s projections as it relates to gas exploitation. And they are meant to address two issues: Design Optimisation and Operational Optimisation of a country’s gas project.
The Natural Resource Minister pointed that the West African Nation started producing oil “some 10 years ahead of Guyana” and possesses a wealth of experience.
“They had years in front of us and they would have developed their framework for their management of the sector quite nicely.
“They have a Petroleum Commission, they have a Local Content Secretariat, they have legislation in place, they have a National Oil Company in place, so it is a country that we believe we can learn a lot from…on how they are managing the sector and managing the oil economies in Africa,” Minister Bharrat said.
And some of those elements that Ghana has successfully managed are what Guyana plans to develop for its gas sector.
Ghana also operates its own National Gas Company – Ghana National Gas Company (GNGC) or Ghana Gas that is wholly owned by Ghanaian nationals. The country holds 0.80 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of proven gas reserves as of 2017, ranking 72nd in the world and accounting for about 0.012% of the world’s total natural gas reserves of 6,923 Tcf.
The Guyana government has touted a significant reduction in electricity costs as one of the most crucial benefits to be had from the gas-to-shore project, expected to come on stream by 2024.
The project would utilise associated gas from ExxonMobil’s Liza Phase One project in the Stabroek Block, which has been in operation since December 2019.