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Ghana News

Ghana’s Flaring of Natural Gas: A Huge Loss to the Economy and the Environment

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Ghana’s petroleum sector has suffered a huge loss of $300 million in 2022 through the flaring of natural gas, according to the latest report by the Public Interest Accountability Committee (PIAC). The report also revealed that the volume of gas flared had increased by 19.3% in 2022 compared to the previous year. This increase in gas flaring is a huge setback for the country as it loses a valuable resource that could be used for productive purposes such as generating power, or conserved for future use.

The report highlights that the flaring of gas is happening at a time when domestic consumption of processed gas is on the rise, leading to increased imports. This is a concerning issue as the country is losing out on the opportunity to produce gas for its domestic consumption, which would reduce the need for imports, thereby saving valuable foreign exchange.

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The PIAC report further disclosed that the volume of gas flared in 2022 constituted about 10% of the total gas produced from the three oil fields of Jubilee, Sankofa Gye-Nyame (SGN) and Tweneboa-Enyenra-Ntomme (TEN). The SGN Field produced the highest volume of combined Associated Gas (AG) and Non-Associated Gas (NAG) of 129.39 BCF, while the Jubilee and TEN Fields produced 68.48 bcf and 55.68 bcf, respectively.

Furthermore, the report showed that the Jubilee field’s gas production had decreased by 2.9% in 2022 compared to the previous year, while the TEN Field’s gas production declined by 13.2%. On the other hand, the SGN Field recorded an increase of 6.4% in gas production in 2022.

For the most part, the flaring of gas continues to occur due to inadequate investment and a lack of facilities to store the commodity. The African Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP) released a report in May 2022, highlighting the challenge of gas flaring in the country. According to the report, Ghana lost 47 billion cubic feet (bcf) of gas to flaring between 2019 and 2021, which is a significant economic loss.

Apart from the economic loss, gas flaring has a negative impact on the environment and contributes to global warming. Therefore, it is crucial for the government to invest in the gas subsector and develop adequate facilities to store the commodity. This will reduce the need for gas flaring and ensure the country utilizes its natural resources for the benefit of its citizens.

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