Nigeria’s oil output may have been on the verge of increase, as Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company Ltd (SNEPCo) has started production from the Bonga Phase 3 project, offshore Niger Delta.
Shell’s Corporate Media Relations Manager, Precious Okolobo, who confirmed this in a statement yesterday, said the development would buoy the company’s aspiration of producing some 50,000 barrels per day (bpd) from the Bonga field.
Okolobo quoted the Shell’s Upstream International Director, Andrew Brown, as saying that: “This new start up is another important milestone for Bonga, adding valuable new production to this major facility.”
Bonga Phase 3 is an expansion of the Bonga Main development, with peak production expected to be some 50,000 barrels of oil equivalent. This will be transported through existing pipelines to the Bonga floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) facility, which has the capacity to produce more than 200,000 barrels of oil and 150 million standard cubic feet of gas a day.
The Bonga field, which began production of oil and gas in 2005, was Nigeria’s first deep-water development in depths of more than 1,000 metres and it has produced over 600 million barrels of oil to date.
Production from deep-water fields in the last decade has already added more than 800,000 barrels per day (bpd) to Nigeria’s total output, which currently stands at around two million bpd, according to the United States (U.S.) Energy Information Administration.
The Managing Director, SNEPCo, Tony Attah, was quoted in another report as saying: “The country’s deep-water resources are making an important contribution to meeting growing energy demand in Nigeria and around the world.
“Our advanced technologies and long commitment to developing a world-class local offshore industry in Nigeria have combined to deliver deep-water projects safely and economically.”
The Bonga project is operated by SNEPCo as contractor under a production-sharing contract with the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC), which holds the lease for OML 118 in which the Bonga field is located.
SNEPCo holds a 55 per cent contractor interest in OML 118. The other co-venturers are Esso Exploration & Production Nigeria Ltd (20 per cent), Total E&P Nigeria Ltd (12.5 per cent) and Nigerian Agip Exploration Ltd (12.5 per cent).