Partners in the Bonga South West Aparo field Development, in deep water off Nigeria, now have certainty that the licences of acreages hosting the fields will be renewed for a period covering the life of the project.
The field straddles Oil Mining Leases (OMLs) 118, 132 and 140.
That the government had not expressly given assurance on the renewal of these acreage licences, was a sticky point in the determination of release of bids for tender, leading to Final Investment Decision on the $13Billion project.
With this issue cleared up with the Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, who is also the Minister for Petroleum Resources, the project promoters can go ahead with FEED, Technical and Commercial Bids and possibly Financial Sanction by the end of 2019.
Shell and its co-venturers have now invited prospective bidders to tender for the project.
“Following the Oil Mining Lease (OML) 118 Heads of Terms (HOT) agreement, we are pleased to announce the release of BSWA Invitation to Tender, where Nigerian and international companies on the agreed bid list are requested to bid for the various contract packages that make up engineering, procurement and construction of the BSWA project. This is an important step that will allow ourselves, government and investing parties to understand the cost of the project and if within expectation, take the project to a Final Investment Decision (FID)”, a statement from SNEPco, the Shell Nigeria subsidiary operating OML 118 said.
Development discussions around the Bonga South West Aparo project has been on the drawing board before 2010. The field holds estimated recoverable reserves of over 650Million barrels (P1) and could deliver 150,000BOPD at peak (according to ExxonMobil ‘s 2017 annual report). If the Final Investment Decision is taken at the end of 2019 or early 2020, first oil could kick in by early 2023.