Ghana Signs Up for West Africa Pipeline

Nigeria reports that Ghana will soon sign the first major gas order with the planned West Africa Gas Pipeline giving a boost to the regional project led by ChevronTexaco. Nigerian Presidential Adviser on Petroleum and Energy Rilwanu Lukman told a Japanese trade and government delegation that talks on the deal had just ended in Houston, Texas. "The problem had been with the uptake of the gas but we are almost resolving that and the contract with one of the major consumers, Ghana Power Corporation, is about to be signed," he said.

The planned 500-mile pipeline will convey up to 375 million standard cubic feet per day of natural gas from Nigeria's oil-rich Niger Delta to Benin, Togo and Ghana using a hybrid transport network over land and sea. Ghana is expected to take between 60 and 65 percent of the gas, slashing its energy bill by 50 percent.

The pipeline has now been designated as a major collaborative project of the New Partnership for Africa's Development, spearheaded by Nigeria, South Africa, Algeria and Senegal. The pipeline's other consortium members are state-run Nigerian National Petroleum Corp and the Nigerian unit of Royal Dutch/Shell.