Total, operator of Block OML138, announces the start-up of production of the offshore Usan field in Nigeria, in line with the planned schedule. Usan is the second deep offshore development operated by Total in Nigeria, coming on stream less than three years after Akpo.
Discovered in 2002, the Usan field lies around 100 kilometers off the South East Nigerian coast in water depths ranging from 750 to 850 meters. The Usan development comprises a spread moored Floating Production, Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessel designed to process 180 000 barrels per day and with a crude storage capacity of 2 million barrels. Its size of 320 meters long and 61 meters wide makes it one of the largest vessels of this type in the world. Development involves 42 wells that are connected to the FPSO by a 70 kilometers long subsea network.
Yves-Louis Darricarrère, President Exploration-Production at Total, stated on the occasion:
“I’m particularly proud to announce start-up of this major project together with the concession holder NNPC. This project demonstrates the ability of Total, a key operator of large-scale deep offshore developments in the Gulf of Guinea, to lead ambitious projects that will contribute to increase production for the Group and for the country. Total as operator has introduced a number of technological innovations, among which is a solution that drastically reduces gas flaring and thus minimizes the project’s environmental impact. The development of Usan has involved a record 60% of local content man-hours and thus has contributed to strengthening the know-how of the Nigerian industry in the area of hydrocarbon exploitation in the deep offshore.”
The Usan project has involved an unprecedented level of Nigerian local content, with over 500,000 engineering man-hours and 14 million construction and installation man-hours performed in Nigeria. FPSO construction included an offshore integration of 3,500 tons of locally fabricated structures. In addition, large-scale training and capacity building programs were put in place, raising the skills of the local workforce to the benefit of future projects.
Total’s wholly owned subsidiary Total E&P Nigeria Ltd. operates OML 138 with a 20% interest, while Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) is the concession holder. Total’s partners are Chevron Petroleum Nigeria Ltd. (30%), Esso E&P Nigeria (Offshore East) Ltd. (30%) and Nexen Petroleum Nigeria Ltd. (20%).
Total Exploration-Production in Nigeria
In 2012 Total will celebrate fifty years of its presence in Nigeria. The Group’s production in Nigeria was approximately 290,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day in 2011.
Deepwater developments are one of Total’s main growth avenues in Nigeria, where the Group operates the Akpo field in OML 130 and is also preparing to develop the Egina field in the same lease. Offshore production also comes from OMLs 99, 100 and 102, which are operated by the Group as part of a joint-venture with NNPC. The main fields in these leases are Amenam-Kpono, Edikan and Ofon. For Ofon, Total recently started the second phase of its development which is mostly intended to recover natural gas reserves. Ofon phase 2 is a step forward in the Group’s plan to reduce its gas flaring and greenhouse gas emissions.
Total’s onshore production comes from OML 58, which it also operates as part of its joint-venture with NNPC. The principal assets are the Obagi oil field and the Ibewa natural gas field. A project is underway to increase the lease’s natural gas and condensate production capacity to supply the domestic market.
In addition, Total has significant equity production in Nigeria from its interests in non-operated ventures, particularly the SPDC joint venture (10%) and SNEPCO (12.5%), which includes the Bonga field. Total also has a 15% interest in NLNG, whose liquefied natural gas production capacity was increased to 21.9 million metric tons per year when Train 6 was brought on stream in late 2007.
Total deploys an assertive local content policy, with locally worked hours accounting for 60% and 90% respectively of the Usan and OML 58 projects in Nigeria. The Group is also helping to build the deepwater expertise of Nigerian contractors, especially in the Niger Delta, a region that is home to more than half of Total’s Nigerian employees and most of its operations in the country.
Subsea World News Staff , February 24, 2012; Image: Total