Sterling, Oando, To Top Up Nigerian Output

By Toyin Akinosho, Publisher

Indian operator Sterling Exploration and Nigerian independent Oando Energy Resources, are hoping to add about 9,000Barels of Oil Per Day from three fields before the end of 2014.

Sterling is developing the Agu field in Oil Prospecting Lease (OPL) 277 in the eastern Niger Delta. Oando is in an advanced stage with Akepo field offshore western Niger Delta and Qua Ibo field in the basin’s prolific south east.

Agu field will, on commissioning, be drained by four wells, collectively delivering 6,000BOPD of crude, transported from well heads through flowlines to the flowstation and taken from the jetty by barges to Agge, from where it’s transported by small vessels to the Floating Storage and Offloading (FSO) facility, Tulja, a Panamian flagged vessel built by Daewoo in 1992. Sterling calls this process “innovative system of evacuation of crude by barges”. Added to the 12,000BOPD from Okwuibome and Anieze fields in Oil Mining Lease (OML) 143, the new production will boost the company’s output to 18,000BOPD. Sterling won these two acreages in 2007 and has been the only company, in the bid rounds conducted between 2005 and 2007, to have reached first oil on the assets.

Oando, meanwhile, reports that “first oil from Akepo is planned for third quarter, 2014; and

commencement of production from Qua Ibo is anticipated in fourth quarter, 2014”. Total output from the two fields is expected to be at least 3,000BOPD.

Oando farmed in as technical and financing partners to the assets and became the lead investor in the properties. Akepo and Qua Ibo are two of the marginal fields awarded by the Nigerian government in 2003. They are held by Sogenal Limited and Network E&P respectively. In 11 years, this is the closest they are to first oil.

Oando’s portion of capital expenditure budget to commission Akepo field includes $3.2 million-which it proposes to spend from April to June 2014, to develop an evacuation route for crude production. “The evacuation plan includes the use of barges to transport crude oil production to the Chevron Escravos Terminal. This is a change of plans: Sogenal and Oando had originally wanted to evacuate the oil to Agip’s Benigboye facility through a 5km onshore and 10km offshore pipeline that was required to be newly constructed. “As a result of unforeseen issues with the contractor selected to construct the pipeline (insolvency of contractor), the Group revised its field development plan to include the use of barges to transport crude oil production to Chevron export terminal at Escravos rather than through the pipeline to the Agip Beneboye facility”.

In Qua Ibo, Oando’s working interest share of capital expenditure is up to $16.2 million, including $8.5 million on a crude processing facility; and “$7.7 million could be spent in the second quarter of 2014 for drilling and completions works on Qua Ibo 5”. The company expects oil production from D5 reservoir in Qua Ibo-4 and Qua Ibo-3 ST1 is expected to commence in the fourth quarter of 2014 after the commissioning of the OER/NEPN crude processing facility which is currently ongoing and should be finalized in the second quarter of 2014.


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