Shell’s deep-water subsidiary in Nigeria, Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company Ltd (SNEPCo) started oil production from the first well at the Bonga North West deep-water development off the Nigerian coast on Tuesday 5 August 2014, another milestone for the country’s energy industry.
“This is an excellent addition to our deep-water portfolio – a key growth theme for Shell’s world-wide upstream business,” said Andrew Brown, Shell’s Upstream International Director. “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 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 North West project is part of Shell’s long-standing commitment to developing deep-water engineering skills in Nigeria. The investments made by SNEPCo and its other project partners in the Bonga North West project include upgrades of local contractors’ facilities and providing specialised training for Nigerians to work in the energy industry.
The Bonga project is operated by SNEPCo, which holds a 55% stake. The other project partners are Esso Exploration & Production Nigeria (Deepwater) Limited (20%), Total E&P Nigeria Limited (12.5%) and Nigerian Agip Exploration Limited (12.5%) under a Production Sharing Contract with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation.