Ghana’s single hull FPSO built against international maritime guidelines – Dr Manteaw

FPSO Kwame Nkrumah
FPSO Kwame Nkrumah

The floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel that was bought by the Jubilee partners for the production of Ghana’s crude oil is second hand, Chairman of the Civil Society Platform on Oil and Gas, Dr Steve Manteaw has said.

“The FPSO, not only is it second hand but also a Single Hull oil tanker. The International Maritime Organisation guideline stipulates that, FPSO should be double tankers but I don’t know for whatever reason why Ghana went in for a Single Hull oil tanker against international guideline,” Dr Manteaw questioned.

The advantage of using a Single Hull FPSO is that it is cheap but it has a higher risk, in case of collision with other oil tankers.  And when this happens, oil production ceases because there will be no tanker available to store the crude, he warned.

“When tankers incidentally clash with Ghana’s FPSO, production will necessarily have to stop because it is a Single Hull,” Head, Investor Relations & Corporate Communications of Tullow Oil, Ghana, Gayheart Mensah revealed in an exclusive interview with

The Jubilee partners funded the construction of the FPSO, he said.

When contacted the International Maritime Organization (IMO), we were referred to the Ghana Maritime Authority (GMA) which has since refused to respond to our enquiries on whether it sanctioned the construction of Ghana’s FPSO or not.

The FPSO Kwame Nkrumah MV21 is installed in approximately 1,100 meters water depth on the Jubilee Field, which is one of the largest oil fields discovered offshore West Africa in the past 10 years.

The FPSO is capable of processing more than 120,000 barrels of oil per day, and injecting more than 230,000 barrels of water per day and 160 MMscfd of produced gas but at the moment it is producing about 70,000 barrels of oil per day and is expected to increase to 90,000 barrels per day by the end of this year, 2012.

The FPSO is designed to remain on the field for up to 20 years.

By Pascal Kelvin Kudiabor

1 Comment
  1. Jahn says

    The Jubilee FPSO is no more second hand than any other converted FPSO in the world. Without using an existing tanker, First oil would have come much later, probably one year if the FPSO should have been new built – and the price would also been higher without giving much added value.

    The IMO rules for SAILING tankers are clear, they are supposed to be Double Hull. However, IMO accept the use of Single hull FPSOs. There is also quite a few advantages with Single Hull FPSOs, with respect to corrosion and the ease of inspection of the tanks. And there has never been an oil spill due to a tanker colliding with a single hull FPSO. For reference, the operator with most FPSOs in the world and that has extensive experience, Petrobras – Prefer Single Hull FPSOs.

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