First production at Noble Energy operated Alen field, I Block “I”, off Equatorial Guinea, is estimated to commence by the end of 2013 at 37,500 Barrels of Condensate Per Day(BCPD) gross (18,750 barrels per day, net to Noble). Natural gas reinjection is estimated to be 380 Mmcf/d during gas-recycling. The total cost of development is estimated at $1.6 billion ($735 million net).
The field development plan was approved by the Equatorial Guinea’s Ministry of Mines, Industry and Energy in early Januay2011. Noble Energy’s board of directors sanctioned the project in December 2010, followed closely by the approval of all partners, including the Nigerian independent Atlas Petroleum (27.55%), UK’s Glencore Exploration (23.75%), Osborne Resources limited, a company within the PA Resources Group(5.7 %) as well as the government company GEPetrol, with a 5% carried interest in Block “I” . Formerly known as Belinda, Alen is a liquid-rich gas-condensate field and was Noble Energy’s first operated discovery in the Douala basin. The reservoir lies primarily in Block “O’ where the original discovery was made, and extends into the northern part of Block “I”. Noble Energy is Technical Operator of the project with an average working interest of 44.65%.
Initial field development will include three production wells and three subsea natural gas injection wells tied to a processing platform. Produced condensate will be separated and piped to the Aseng floating production, storage, and offloading vessel on Block “I”, approximately 24 kilometres to the south, where it will be held until sold. Associated natural gas will be re-injected back into the reservoir to maintain pressure and maximize liquid recoveries. The Alen processing facility will be located in approximately 85 metres of water and is designed to handle 440 million cubic feet per day (Mmcf/d) of natural gas and 40,000 barrels per day (BPD) of condensate.
The Company expects to recover gross condensate of approximately 88 million barrels. In addition, there is an estimated 930 billion cubic feet of gross natural gas resources at Alen that will ultimately be produced as part of Equatorial Guinea’s integrated gas monetization project. Natural gas handling capacity at Alen is being planned for significant expansion as part of the gas monetization project.