Energy Minister, Dr Oteng Adjei on Friday said Ghana was experiencing inconsistent natural gas supply from Nigeria since the inception of the West Africa Gas Pipe Line Project in August 2010.
He said supply ranged from 120,000 million British thermal units per day (MMBtu/day) to nothing adding that the average volume since January 2011 was about 80,000 (MMBtu /day).
Dr Adjei who said this on the floor of parliament during question time indicated that the current price of natural gas was about $6.61 per million British thermal units (S/MMBtu) which according to him was equivalent to $40 per barrel compared to the current crude price of more than $100 per barrel.
He said government noted that the price was indexed to six month average of the crude oil price and therefore changed over time.
The Minister indicated that the availability of gas had significantly reduced the cost of hydro- power generation, which he explained had been passed to the consumer by the Public Utility Regulatory Commission in the tariff adjustment of March 2011.
On monies received as training allowances from oil Exploration and Production companies the Minister said the funds had been utilised for staff training –advanced educational programmes and short courses, staff attachment and development programmes, educational support for public institutions, conferences, seminars and workshops, attachment training for university students and the acquisition of office equipment.
When the Minister was asked when oil exploration and production companies would site their corporate headquarters in the host communities apart from Accra, Dr Adjei said current provisions in the Petroleum Agreements and Petroleum Laws did not provision for that arrangement.
He however said the Petroleum Commission Bill provided for the sitting of operational offices of the Commission in the Western Region and in other regions where petroleum discoveries in commercial quantities had been made.
“We anticipate that International Oil Companies will locate their operational offices close to the offices of the Petroleum Commission for easy access,” he said adding that Tullow Ghana Limited operators of the Jubilee oil Field currently had an operational office in Takoradi.
Responding to why rural electrification in the Volta Region had stopped, Dr Adjei said the Ministry was undertaking two separate projects in the region one of which was been financed by the government and the other by the China International Water and Electricity Corporation.
He admitted that there was delay in the execution of the project to enable sourcing for additional funds to complete the project by the end of 2011.
The Minister said funds were being sourced to complete electrification projects in communities in a number of communities in the Northern Region.