Long Awaited: Nigeria’s OML 13 Reaches First Oil, Looks to Ramp Up to 40KBD - Africa’s premier report on the oil, gas and energy landscape.

Long Awaited: Nigeria’s OML 13 Reaches First Oil, Looks to Ramp Up to 40KBD

The Indian independent Sterling Exploration has reached first oil in the development of the Oil Mining Lease (OML) 13 onshore eastern Niger Delta.

The company has worked on the project in the context of a Financial and Technical Service Agreement (FTSA), signed with NNPC E&P Ltd (the company formerly known as NPDC), which holds the licence to the acreage.

An NNPC press statement says that production from OML 13, in which the main field is Utapate field, commenced on the 6th of May 2024 with 6,000 barrels of oil per day and is expected to be ramped up to 40,000 barrels per day by May 27th, 2024.

The statement adds that Sterling is working the asset through its subsidiary named Natural Oilfield Services Ltd (NOSL),

The development of OML 13 has been a long, drawn-out project.

When SEEPCO inked the FTSA with the then NPDC in June 2019, close to five years ago, a statement by the NNPC said that the Indian operator, the only non-indigenous independent oil producer operating an asset  in Nigeria, would pump $3.15Billion  to drain the recoverable portion of the 926Million stock tank barrels (MMSTB) and 5.24Trillion cubic feet (Tcf) respectively of oil and gas reserves in place, over a period of 15 years.

First oil of about 7,900BOPD was expected from the project by 1st April, 2020, while production is expected to peak at 94,000BOPD and 542Million standard cubic feet a day (542MMscf/d) within four years, the NNPC statement added.

The terms of the deal was that the $3.15Billion, described as the “ceiling funding”, came with a 10-year capital investment period and five years for cost recovery.

But none of the details of the project, financial or non-financial, have shown up in any of the NNPC annual reports since 2020.

Gas, Is this related?

A week ago, NNPC released a press statement announcing three gas projects expected to be commissioned by President Bola Tinubu. One of those projects  is named AHL Gas Processing Plant 2 (GPP – 2) – which is supposed to deliver 200MMscf/d. “It is an expansion of the Kwale Gas Processing Plant (GPP -1), and will deliver lean gas through the OB3 Gas Pipeline, supporting Nigeria’s industrialization”, NNPC’s statement said. The AHL Processing plant 2 is also expected “to produce 160,000 MTPA of Propane and 100,000 MTPA of Butane, reducing dependency on LPG imports”, the press release added. 




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