Dr Kwabena Duffuor, Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, on Wednesday said the Government has approved Phase I Plan of Development for the Jubilee Field in the Deep Water Tano and West Cape Three Points Contract areas.
He said the development of the Jubilee Field was on course and production of oil and gas was to commence in the last quarter of 2010.
"It is worth noting that as a result of intensive negotiations by Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), with the support of the Government, the partners agreed that the first 200 billion cubic feet of gas that will be produced in association with the oil will not be sold at $4 per thousand cubic feet, as had been envisaged as of December 2008.
"It will be delivered free of charge to GNPC which has the responsibility to develop the infrastructure for gas gathering and processing not only for the Jubilee Field but for gas from other fields nearby."
Dr Duffuor said during the presentation of the Government's 2010 Budget to Parliament that this meant that a value of $800 million would be realized for the nation.
He said approval was given by the Minister of Energy to Unitisation and Unit Operating Agreement, which addressed the situation arising from the Jubilee Field straddling two contract areas and the significant differences in the provisions of the two petroleum agreements.
He identified key projects and activities that the Government had embarked on as start-up of oil production from the Jubilee Field; continued steps of appraisal of the two other fields in the Deep Water Tano and West Cape Three Points Contract Areas with a view to develop those fields.
Other areas include the establishment of gas gathering and processing infrastructure to ensure optimisation of natural gas resources not only from the Jubilee Field but also from other fields in the Tano/Cape Three Points Basin.
Dr Duffuor also mentioned the establishment of a framework for ensuring transparency and accountability in relation to oil and gas revenue and compliance with the Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative Principles and accelerated local skills development to meet the requirements of the oil and gas sector and support for local industry to participate increasingly in producing requirements of oil and gas development activities.
He said the country would develop a strategic plan for improving infrastructure for the benefit of communities near the oil and gas fields.
He said development of environmental protection plans for the oil and gas sector remained a priority of the Government.
The Finance Minister said within the fiscal year, a National Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) programme would be developed that would ensure improved nationwide availability of LPG at reasonable prices to reduce reliance on fuel wood.
He said Bulk Oil Storage Depots would be expanded for security of petroleum products whilst enhancement of the Rural Kerosene Distribution Improvement Project would continue.
Dr Duffuor said ensuring transparent and accountable Government was one of the pillars of the National Democratic Congress's promise to the people of Ghana.'and we will not only ensure that oil and gas revenues are properly managed, utilised and accounted for' but Government was also embarking on certain initiatives to facilitate efficient and effective service delivery to the public.
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