I’LL FIELD THIS

Ghana 2016 | ENERGY & MINING | INTERVIEW

TBY talks to Gauthier Pourcelle, Country Manager of Technip Ghana, on the record-breaking development of Jubilee field and prospects for the future.

Gauthier Pourcelle
BIOGRAPHY
Gauthier Pourcelle was born in Rouen France and studied at the ESC Rouen and the ESCP Europe, receiving honors in supply chain and global exchange and an Executive MBA. He worked with Altran Group as a Supply Chain, Project Management and Purchase Consultant between 2000 and 2004. He then joined Technip, working as a Regional BD Manager in Abu Dhabi. In 2011 he joined Technip Corporate’s Subsea Division as their Global Procurement Strategy Manager. In 2013 he became the Country Manager for Technip Ghana.

Kosmos discovered oil in 2007, and its Jubilee field was largely developed by Tullow. How did Technip get involved?

Kosmos joined with Tullow in 2009 to develop the Jubilee field, where Tullow was the majority operator, alongside with Kosmos, GNPC, and Sabre. It was the first time that Tullow had ever developed a field and it needed stronger technical support. We brought a lot of technical experience and helped it complete the first phase at Jubilee. Afterwards, we continued working on the field and did the gas export line, and then the second phase of Jubilee. Between 2009 and 2014, we were busy with the Jubilee field. The whole country was excited by this discovery, so the authorities wanted to produce as soon as possible. We delivered the first oil after four years, which normally should take six years; the main challenge was the speed. The second field after that was the TEN Field. The tender was presented in 2013 and we took the opportunity to continue supporting Tullow in that development, trying to benefit from the lessons learned at Jubilee in order to deliver on even better terms.

In October 2013, Tullow awarded $1.23 billion in contracts for subsea construction and installation for TEN to a Technip-Subsea 7 consortium. How has that project progressed?

When TEN arrived, the project was huge, but it has since been split into two phases. At the time, we did not have enough vessels to support the project, hence our need for partners. This is why we did it with Subsea 7. It is a consortium in which we have 700 of the total, and Subsea 7 retains 500. It is the same scope, but we split the project geographically. The whole project has seen great success, and we have delivered on time and within our budget.

The Jubilee field took longer to reach peak production than initially projected, resulting in lower-than-expected revenues. Are you seeing expectations in today's forecasting scaling back?

We are not facing that. We know the fields here and we know the market. Eni's project has been approved as well. Ghana is right on track with those plans. The biggest issue recently was the boundary dispute between Côte d'Ivoire and Ghana. This has impacted some field development because the fields cross the dispute area, meaning that no drilling is allowed in this area and some projects there have been delayed. Eni's project has received commitment from the government, so those plans are going ahead. For now, each operator has to assess the commercial viability with the oil price as it is, as well as the delays in development that may result from the boundary dispute.

What are your expectations for 2016?

We will be involved with the TEN field, which will give the country gas and increase the power generation and power production, both key components of sustainable development in Ghana that will create a platform for Ghana's industrial development. After the official launch of Eni, we will move from tendering to operation, which will bring in more gas for Ghana to produce electricity in 2017. We have found that while projects are being delayed in other countries, it is business as usual in Ghana. Though this might overexcite the competition and attract more foreign competitors to Ghana, the market will ultimately expect more.