Africa is expanding its oil and gas pipeline network as countries in the region move to entrench distribution of the commodities in the domestic market and transport more to regional and international markets.
Algeria, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique and Ghana are at various stages of oil and gas pipeline construction projects to monetize their oil and gas finds despite predictions that the massive production of shale in the U.S. and falling global crude prices could impact on the performance of these pipeline projects.
Algeria has partnered with Italy in the construction of the 560-mile Trans Saharan Gas Pipeline project to transport an estimated 8 billion cubic meters of natural gas annually to Italy. The $2.5-billion project, expected on stream in 2018, entails constructing the gas pipeline along the Mediterranean Sea bed at depths of 2,885 m, from the coast of Algeria to Porto Botte in southern Sardinia. From Porto Botte a land-built stretch will link to Olbia, also in Sardinia, with an underwater stretch from Olbia to Piombino in Tuscany.
According to Italy’s energy company Edison, the project, also known as Galsi (Gasdotto Algeria - Sardegna Italia) will enable Italy to “create a natural gas hub by creating a new gas supply route which is more competitive and shorter to import gas from Algeria and from there to North Europe.”
Galsi SpA., is a joint venture consisting of the companies Sonatrach, Edison, Enel, Wintershall, Hera and the Sardinian company Sfirs.
J P Kenny, a subsidiary of international energy services company John Wood Group PLC, was involved in the pre-FEED study of the Galsi undertaking while D'Appolonia SpA (the operational arm of Italy’s RINA) and Netherlands Furgo NV were the contractors for the environmental impact study and marine surveys respectively. Another gas export pipeline is on the radar in Algeria to be developed by London-based international oil and gas services provider Petrofac, which was awarded the 36-month contract last year.
The $970-million contract also entails engineering, procurement, construction, commissioning and start-up of the gas treatment plant, gathering system of the Reggane North Development Project in the Reggane basin about 1,500 km southwest of Algiers, according to a Petrofac project brief.
The project is being developed by Groupement Reggane, a partnership comprising Algerian state-owned company Sonatrach (40%), Spain’s Repsol (29.25%), Germany’s RWE Dea AG (19.5%) and Edison of Italy (11.25%).
The Reggane project will bring on stream 26 wells from the fields of Reggane, Kahlouche, Kahlouche South and Azrafil South East. No design details have been provided for the Reggane export pipeline.
In West Africa, Ghana is putting final touches on its Western Corridor Gas Infrastructure Development project under a contract by China’s Sinopec International. The $850-million project involves the construction of a gas-processing plant with a capacity of 150 million standard cubic feet per day, an onshore pipeline and a natural gas liquids export system by Sinopec.