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Gas exports expected soon from Ghana

Output curbed by July 3rd technological glitch at offshore Jubilee field.

By Daniel J. Graeber

LONDON, July 20 (UPI) -- Gas exports from the Jubilee field off the coast of Ghana are expected to resume in August, following an early July closure, operator Tullow Oil said Monday.

Tullow shut down a floating offshore production facility tied to the Jubilee field July 3 because of a "technical issue" with gas compression systems.

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"Tullow has mobilized a team of experts to rectify the fault within the gas compression system and estimates that it will take approximately a further three weeks to reinstate gas export and full oil production," the company said in a statement.

Gas field development in Ghana is expected to help transform the nation's economy. The nation's fields hold enough natural gas to feed the country's power sector for the next 20 years.

Representatives from Italian energy company Eni and Dutch energy trading company Vitol joined Ghanaian Energy Minister Kofi Buah in January in marking the development plan for the country's Sankofa and Gye Nyame natural gas fields.

Described by the World Bank as a national priority, the combined development plan aims to tap into reserves with as much as 1.5 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.

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Production of oil associated with the Jubilee field is constricted to around 65,000 barrels per day because of the offshore technological glitch. Tullow, which has headquarters in London, says, at its peak, Jubilee could eventually produce more than 125,000 bpd.

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