Nigeria's oil and gas industry continues to record breakthroughs

Mar 23, 2004 01:00 AM

Nigeria's oil and gas industry has continued to record breakthroughs into the deep and ultra-deep water oil production with about 58 blocks awarded to different oil companies within the past 13 years, recoverable oil and gas put at 4 bn barrels for oil and 25 tcf of gas from the wells already drilled.
The Director, Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Mac Ofurhie, stated that these deep and ultra-deep oil blocks were awarded to both multinational and indigenous oil companies. While the multinational operate their concessions under the production sharing contract (PSC) arrangement the indigenous firms were made to operate under the sole risk arrangement.

The outstanding discoveries among these oil blocks, Ofurhie said, include the Shell's Bonga field discovered in 1996, Bosi and Abo fields in 1997, Agbami in 1998, Erha in 1999 and Bonga-SW in 2001. Some fields that have promising reserves include the Chota, Nnwa, Doro, Ikija, Bolia and Nsiko. Some of these fields according to him, have straddling reservoirs, therefore, should be jointly developed by the owner companies.
Ofurhie said that as at the end of last year, 110 wells have been drilled in these deep and ultra-deep water oil blocks. He noted that out of this number, 18 wells were dry, 41 wells were exploratory, 21 were first and second appraisal while 48 wells were drilled as ordinary wells.

He said "Six of these oil blocks are currently undergoing various development schemes with first deepwater oil production from Agip's Abo field commissioned in the last quarter of last year. Bonga is scheduled for commissioning this year. By 2007, when most of these discoveries comprising ExxonMobil's Erha field, and Star Deepwater's Agbami field are expected to come on stream, they will produce about 1 mm bpd of crude oil."
To ensure that production from these terrain is not cumbersome, Ofurhie said that production facility system being adopted for the development of these fields is the floating production storage and offloading (FPSO)concept vessel, tied to subsea completion system by flowline and riser arrangement. He explained that some of these FPSOs are being sized to enable them serve as a hub for future satellite fields within their (FPSO) locations.

Ofurhie who spoke against the background of potentials of oil and gas finds in the West Africa sub-region at the just concluded Offshore West Africa (OWA) conference on oil and gas said that deep and deepwater activities in the sub-region have witnessed tremendous growth in the past few decades. In an effort to increase oil production and meet the nation's targets, new frontiers have been explored which resulted in the search for oil in the offshore and deep-offshore waters of Nigeria, gas development and marginal fields development.
He stated that some member countries such as Angola and Gabon have continued to make entries into the deepwater search and production. For example, Total discovered two deepwater blocks in Angola in 2002 while ExxonMobil also made a discovery there the same year and have drilled Reco Reco-1 well in water depth of 4,718 feet.

Recoverable oil from these fields is estimated to be in excess of 3.5 bn barrels with other two fields which have reserves put at 1 bn and 100 mm barrels respectively. Angola has also embarked on construction of its first (LPG) FPSO, Ofurhie added.
Gabon is also said to have embarked on an aggressive exploration activities in its offshore areas. Presently, the country has about five oil fields with reserves put at about 20 mm barrels with daily production of over 30,000 bpd.

Source: Vanguard Media Ltd.
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