Chevron Nigeria Is Drilling Again

KS Endeavour To Drill in Meji Field, Chevron Nigeria is returning from a drilling holiday in its prolific shallow water assets.

The California based oil major has contracted the rig KS Endeavour for drilling several wells in the shallow water Meji field in the western Niger Delta basin. “It marks a return of the company’s Joint Venture division to the drill- site and this is quite symbolic”, says Jeffrey Tolkein, an oil industry analyst based in Cairo. Chevron Nigeria’s drilling in the last six months had focused on the Agbami deepwater field. The company’s drilling activity in shallow water, swamp and land, have been on hold as the company focused on squeezing as much crude oil as it could, in areas to which it couldn’t gain access at the height of militant attacks. “Production, not drilling, has been top priority”, says Tolkein. “But for you to guarantee continued production, you have to return to the well site, either for workover, testing, or new drilling”. Chevron refrained from drilling in its swamp assets(Gbokoda, Benin River, Abiteye..) after attacks seven years ago, but has since refurbished the facilities and lined up plans to drill as many as 30 wells in the swamp area beginning in 2012. The shallow offshore, which had been the company’s main cash cow over the last 40 years, had continued to see drilling action, until the sudden stop in drilling in 2010. With the return to drilling operations in Meji and the expectations for swamp activity in 2012, Chevron Nigeria’s drilling activity should progressively rise in the next 15 months and help improve the country’s low rig count(16 rigs monthly average in 2010).


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