�Ghana Gas Has Already Initiated Safety Audit�

The Ghana Gas Company (Ghana Gas) has stated that the tie-in of the Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) Platform riser to its Pipeline End Termination (PLET) would not lead to any unexpected accident or a blow-out at its Atuabo Processing Plant as being suggested in some quarters. - It said facilities such as the Gas Processing Plant (GPP) had in-built relief mechanisms and several layers of protection to address upset situations. �Ghana Gas wishes to explain that it is a misconception to suggest that the tie-in of the FPSO riser to our PLET (Pipeline End Termination) could lead to an unexpected accident or a blow-out. �The truth is that facilities such as the Gas Processing Plant (GPP) have in-built relief mechanisms and several layers of protection to address upset situations,� it added. These were contained in a statement issued by Ghana Gas in Accra yesterday in reaction to a story carried in the Daily Graphic in its Monday, August 11, 2014 edition and captioned, �Jubilee Partners Demand Audit of Atuabo Plant�. In the said story, the Jubilee Partners warned against any hasty decision to connect the Atuabo Gas Processing Plant to the FPSO Kwame Nkrumah. They also demanded an independent audit of the facilities at the plant before hooking it up to the production platform to avert any unexpected accident or blow-out that might endanger the multi-billion dollar onshore and offshore investments. But in its statement, Ghana Gas stressed that the 58-kilometre upstream Offshore Pipeline and the 111-kilometre downstream Onshore Pipeline had both been hydro-tested successfully at pressures higher than the anticipated operating pressures, with no leakages whatsoever identified, while various modules of the GPP had also been tested successfully. �We wish to note that after mechanical completion and pre-commissioning of every facility, the owners and contractors normally initiate an audit of the facility to ensure its safety, integrity and reliability. �Typically, results of such audits are shared with stakeholders and remedial measures, if required, undertaken to address issues. �Ghana Gas has already initiated this process by contracting a consultant to perform the safety audit. The Jubilee Field partners were been duly informed of this,� the statement signed by Mr Alfred Ogbamey, the Corporate Communications Manager of Ghana, Gas added. It said the request for an audit before the tie-in to avoid a �blow-out� was, therefore, a moot point, stressing that during normal operations after tie-in, either Tullow or Ghana Gas had the ability to shut their control valves to isolate the two systems, if operational exigencies required that. The statement said the well-head of the natural gas reservoirs were controlled by the Jubilee Partners. �In the event of the tie-in, they would have to still open the well-head for the gas to flow. It is, therefore, important to note that the tie-in can be performed within the five-day period, with the well-head only being opened upon completion of the audit process in question, if need be,� it said. By-Pass It noted that Ghana Gas had been supportive of the construction of the by-pass system, adding that it was part of the company�s operational configuration as it provides an important operational relief in case of any upset at the GPP. �It was part of the original construction plan of the GPP to be executed after construction of the first phase and at the time of the installation of the Turbo Expander component (part of the second phase) when the Gas Plant has to shut down, to enable basic gas flow to meet the VRA and other customer needs,� it stressed. �The truth, however, is that the initial connecting Tees that the Jubilee partners provided Ghana Gas were out of specification. A review of the design was carried out prior to the installation of these materials, and it was noticed that instead of providing Reducing Tees (RT) for 12� to 6� piping, the Jubilee Partners rather provided Weldolet which does not conform to the standard for our piping class specification,� it added. The statement said accordingly, Ghana Gas wrote to the Jubilee Partners and requested for the replacements of the Weldolet with 12� to 6� RT by July 28, 2014 for the purpose of consistency in design and safety of the pipeline. �Significantly, the Jubilee Partners only informed Ghana Gas on August 12, 2014, a day after the Daily Graphic report credited to Tullow�s own officials that the Tees arrived last Friday. Interestingly, the Tees are yet to be cleared from the ports for handing over to Ghana Gas,� it said.