Mr Donkris Mevuta, Executive Director of Friends of the Nation, an environmental NGO has said the huge responsibility given to the various Floating Production Storage Offloading vessels (FPSO) to undertake one-off production was not helping the country economically.
Mr Mevuta said it was economically not prudent for the various FPSO to do all the jobs offshore without any activity onshore that could help to retain all the by-product associated with the drilling of oil in the country.
The Executive Director who said this in an interview with the Ghana News Agency in Takoradi noted that, “the FPSO is the biggest threat to maximizing returns from the oil and gas sector”.
Mr Mevuta pointed out that when some of the activities are carried out by the FPSO, by-products from the oil could be used locally in the fertilizer, pharmaceutical and cosmetology industry to enhance production, create local jobs and improve livelihood as a measure to empower many more Ghanaians through local jobs.
“We cannot continue to carry out every activity offshore…like we have done with the Atuabo Gas station, some component of the activities by the FPSO must be done onshore to achieve effective results.
Mr Mevuta therefore called on the government and stakeholders in the industry to find a way out of this situation in growing this nascent business.
“An FPSO vessel is designed to receive hydrocarbons produced by itself or from nearby platforms or subsea template, process them, and store oil until it can be offloaded onto a tanker, or less frequently, transported through a pipelines.”
The FPSOs are preferred in frontier offshore regions as they are easy to install, and do not require a local pipeline infrastructure to export oil.
FPSOs eliminate the need to lay expensive long-distance pipelines from the processing facility to an onshore terminal. This can provide an economically attractive solution for smaller oil fields, which could be exhausted in a few years and do not justify the expense of installing a pipeline.
Furthermore, once the field is depleted, the FPSO can be moved to a new location.