Nigeria's East Area oil-gas project starts

By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, Aug. 8 -- An ExxonMobil Corp. subsidiary started gas reinjection at the East Area Additional Oil Recovery Project off Nigeria in late July.

The gas reinjection has stabilized oil production at 120,000 b/d from six fields that once produced more than 200,000 b/d, the company said. The six fields are Iyak, Ubit, Oso, Usari, Idoho, and Mfem (see map, OGJ, Feb. 16, 2004, p. 31).

The $1.3 billion project is designed to recover more than 530 million bbl of oil from the OML 67 and 70 blocks and reduce routine gas flaring. The fields are in shallow water 17 miles off southeastern Nigeria. OML 67 is near the border with Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea.

Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited is reinjecting gas to slow the normal field decline from a number of reservoirs. The project includes a gas compression complex, seven other platforms including crew quarters, and more than 100 miles of new gas-gathering and distribution pipelines.

Project interests are MPN 40% and Nigerian National Petroleum Corp. 60%.

The East Area project is ExxonMobil's third major project startup in 2006. In February MPN began production from the $1.3 billion Yoho project now producing 160,000 b/d of oil and injecting 110 MMcfd of gas on OML 133. Participants and interests are the same as those at East Area.

Erha deepwater field began producing in March and together with the Erha North satellite due on production shortly is expected to reach 190,000 b/d and 300 MMcfd of associated gas, to be reinjected for pressure maintenance. The $3.5 billion project is on OML 133.

Esso Exploration & Production Nigeria Ltd. operates the Erha project with 56.25% interest. Shell Nigeria Exploration & Production Co. holds 43.75%.

ExxonMobil said its affiliates now average more than 1.1 million b/d of production off Nigeria compared with 700,000 b/d at the end of 2005.

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