Drilling activity will continue on a decline slope in Nigeria in 2015. Contractors are hoping for a surge in activity, after ministerial consent has been received for seven acreages purchased from Shell and Chevron.
The number of rigs working on any location in the country has fallen from 42 to 25 in the last 12 months. Rigs that were introduced into the country by local players, with fanfare four to five years ago, are all lying idle. There is little chance that they will be contracted next year. Shell had only one onshore rig drilling and one deep-water rig as of the end of November 2014. ExxonMobil was active in only one deep-water location, as was TOTAL, Shell and ENI.
None of these had any rig deployed on land or shallow water. Chevron was active on two deep-water locations but had been absent from onshore and shallow water for two years.
Nigerian independents are more active onshore, with Seplat deploying four rigs on four locations, NPDC on two onshore locations and a shallow water well; Conoil was active with two rigs on two locations and Frontier and Midwestern on one location each. Addax was on two shallow water locations at the end of November.
Two Seadrill-owned drillships are getting ready for activity in Nigeria’s deep-waters. West Jupiter will likely spud in Egina by Christmas, 2014. West Saturn arrived the country recently and will spud in ExxonMobil operated Erha field in about a week’s time. TOTAL’s ongoing Egina deep-water development is expected to come on stream in 2017. For a project meant to drain some 600 Million barrels of oil over 15 years, the activity scope is enormous.