Abuja, Nigeria | – The Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company Limited (SNEPCo), a subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell Plc has reopened the 225,000 barrel-per-day capacity Bonga deepwater oilfield following turnaround maintenance work, local media reports .
The oilfield was shut down on March 4, 2017, for planned maintenance, which involved inspections, recertification, testing and repair of equipment as well as engineering upgrades with Nigerian companies and subsea professional playing key roles.
The exercise took off a significant chunk from Nigeria’s crude oil exports, as SNEPCo produces close to 200,000 barrels per day from the field, which it operates under Production Sharing Contract (PSC) for the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
The past weeks marked the fourth maintenance programme since the start of production from Bonga in November 2005. Shell has yet to confirm the resumption of operations. But Reuters reported that Bonga oilfield had resumed production, but that traders were still waiting for loading programmes for June. Also, Erha and Yoyo loading programmes have not been released, the report quoted traders as saying.
Earlier this month, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources Emmanuel Kachikwu said that work at Bonga would be completed in July, and that the reopening would be preceded by the finalisation of repairs on the Forcados pipeline.
While no specific date for the conclusion of maintenance work was given upon the announcement of the production halt in March, a Shell spokesperson at the time said the company was aiming to resume operations in April.
Managing Director of SNEPCO, Mr. Bayo Ojulari, had said maintenance of the field was the fourth since the Bonga field began production in November 2005
“The exercise will help ensure sustained production and reduced unscheduled production deferments. For the Bonga team, this is another opportunity to excel, having won the ‘Asset of the Year’ Award 2016 in the Shell Group, followed by runners-up in Norway and Malaysia. We are pleased that the award recognised the continuing collaboration towards optimum production with a focus on safety, cost and Nigerian content development which will be invaluable in the maintenance work,” Ojulari added.
Located in Oil Prospecting Licence (OPL) 212, the 60-square-kilometre field is situated in water depths of over 1,000 metres.
Bonga is Nigeria’s first deep-water development and is located 120 kilometres, offshore Nigeria.
SNEPCo operates Bonga in partnership with Esso Exploration and Production Nigeria (Deep Water) Limited; Total E&P Nigeria Limited; and Nigerian Agip Exploration Limited under a PSC with NNPC.