Business News of 2014-06-12

ACEP describes gov’t approval to flare gas as ill-advised

Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP), an energy think-tank, has described the government's "No objection" to gas flaring by the Jubilee partners as ill-advised and a recipe for environmental consequences.

In a release signed by Nasir Alfa Mohammed, Senior Energy Policy Manager of ACEP, said the environmental and health effects of flaring gas could contribute to increasing greenhouse gases leading to global warming.

Tullow Oil partners in the Jubilee oil field have been granted approval to flare gas until October when the Atuabo Gas Infrastructural facility referred to as the "Western Corridor Gas Infrastructure Development project" executed by SINOPEC, becomes operational.

The project includes the installation of offshore/onshore pipelines, gas processing plant, liquid gas export system and office complex.

It cited Niger Delta in Nigeria as an example of an area suffering adverse environmental impact of acid rains resulting from flaring gas and added that acid rains acidifies lakes, rivers, streams and damage the vegetation.

ACEP said the potential exposure of hazardous air pollutants emitted during incomplete combustion of flaring gas could result in adverse health impacts such as cancers, deformities in children, lung damage, skin and nervous problems, reproductive as well as developmental effects in surrounding communities.

"We are more worried that the country will lose millions of dollars worth of gas over the authorised flaring period,” the statement said.

It called on the government to expedite action on the early completion of the gas project insisting flaring of gas was yet another cost to the state.

The statement said due diligence was not done, and the government's decision was arrived at largely influenced by financial consideration rather than the welfare of the people.

It suggested that the process of flaring the gas be monitored and the Jubilee partners compelled to disclose the volumes of gas to be flared on daily basis and contingency plans made public.

In an interview with the Ghana News Agency, Mr Benjamin Boakye, Director of Projects of ACEP said the continuous re-injection of gas into the oil-well has a high propensity to destroy the national investment while flaring has environmental and health consequences.

He said a baseline audit should be conducted by the Environmental Protection Agency to assess the potential impact on the environment and the communities.

Source: GNA
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