Ghana lifts first oil to international market

A Maltese registered oil vessel, MT Spike has arrived in the country from Libya to lift Ghana's first oil from the Jubilee Field to the International Oil Market.

The over 248 metre long ship which is currently at the Tema Port to change crew and refuel is expected at the Jubilee Field on Tuesday to start lifting crude from the FPSO Kwame Nkrumah.

MT Spike built in July 2010 by Samsung Heavy Industries limited has the capacity to lift more than 1,000 tonnes of crude.

The Vessel which has a 21 Indian crew on board is to be subjected to safety scrutiny by the Ghana Maritime Authority to ensure that it is safe to operate in the country's territorial waters especially on the fields.

Speaking to Radio Ghana in Tema, the Deputy Director in charge of Inspection and Surveys of the Ghana Maritime Authority, Captain William Thompson said officials from the Inspectorate Division of the Authority will be examining certificates on fire safety among others to ensure that the vessel is in good condition to carry out operations without problems.

He said the Oil Field is a critical national asset and it is the responsibility of the Ghana Maritime Authority to ensure that all the right practices and laws are observed by stakeholders in the interest of the country.

Mr. William Thompson said the Ghana Maritime Authority, GMA has emphasized their determination to ensure that oil vessels to the Jubilee oil fields meet the required safety measures before being allowed to load the country's oil.

Speaking to Radio Ghana before boarding the MT Spike, he said the Authority would call for the change of any vessel that does not meet safety standards.

GBC online, Jan. 3rd, 2011

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