Opoku Ahweneeh Danquah
The Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) has officially commenced the decommissioning of the Mr. Louie Platform in the Saltpond oil field.
The decommissioning project is estimated to last twelve months.
Being the first decommissioning project of its kind in Ghana, GNPC, its lead contractor, as well as other relevant stakeholders, showed their readiness to work hand-in-hand to ensure the success of the project.
Having obtained the majority of the statutory approvals and key permits, GNPC will provide both financial and technical support to fully execute the year-long project.
GNPC CEO, Opoku Ahweneeh Danquah, stated that, “the decommissioning of the first oil platform in Ghana is necessary to ensure that the marine ecosystem around the Saltpond area is returned to its pre-license condition.
With several oil and gas platforms expected to be decommissioned in the future, GNPC personnel will gain additional hands-on technical capabilities by collaborating with other experienced industry experts during this exercise.”
Mr. Danquah further revealed that the field decommissioning process was preceded by pre-planning and a feasibility study that was endorsed by the Ministry of Energy.
“While we continue to work to meet all the technical and safety requirements, the corporation is also enhancing its social license to operate by continuously holding stakeholder and community engagements in coastal communities where the project is taking place. This is to sensitize fisherfolk about the importance and need to observe safety measures and stay away from the restricted zone.
“We have also supported the traditional authorities to perform all the necessary customary rites for the project to kick off,” Mr. Danquah added.
Mr. Danquah thanked the Ministry of Energy, Petroleum Commission, Ghana Maritime Authority, National Security, Environmental Protection Agency, and other key stakeholders whose representatives were present at the kick-off for their support in ensuring that the project takes off successfully.
The Decommissioning Project
The Mr. Louie Platform (commissioned in 1970) has reached the end of its operational life and is deteriorating. GNPC has engaged Hans & Co. Limited [a wholly Ghanaian-owned Company] to lead a consortium of industry experts in undertaking the project on a turnkey basis.
The project will be supported by a project management consultancy firm to ensure that all aspects of the decommissioning, including well plugging and abandonment, and topside removal, are performed with strict adherence to Health, Safety, Security, and Environmental (HSSE) protocols.