Royal Dutch Shell plc reported Wednesday that its Nigerian subsidiary, Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company, has started up oil production from the first well at the Bonga North West deep-water development off the country’s coast. Shell Upstream International Director Andrew Brown commented in a company statement: “This is an excellent addition to our deep-water portfolio – a key growth theme for Shell’s world-wide upstream business.
It’s also good news for Nigeria, as it is a new source of oil revenues and strengthens Nigeria’s deep-water expertise, a key driver of economic development.” The original Bonga project began producing oil and gas in 2005. It was Nigeria’s first deep-water development in water depths of more than 3,250 feet. Bonga North West is the next step in the project’s development. The Bonga project, which began producing oil and gas in 2005, was Nigeria’s first deep-water development in water depths over 1,000 metres.
Bonga North West represents a significant step forward for the project. Oil from the Bonga North West sub-sea facilities is transported by a new undersea pipeline to the existing Bonga floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) export facility. The Bonga FPSO has been upgraded to handle the additional oil flow from Bonga North West which, at peak production, is expected to contribute 40,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day, helping to maintain the facility’s overall output.
Four oil producing wells and two water injection wells in the Bonga North West development will be connected to the FPSO, from where oil is loaded onto tankers for shipping around the world. The Bonga project is operated by SNEPCo, which holds a 55-percent stake.
The other project partners are Esso Exploration & Production Nigeria (Deepwater) Limited (20 percent), Total E&P Nigeria Limited (12.5 percent) and Nigerian Agip Exploration Limited (12.5 percent) under a production sharing contract with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation.