Shell issues contracts for Bonga field off Nigeria

Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company Ltd., on behalf of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corp., Thursday issued contracts to four European companies for the development of its $2.4 billion deepwater Bonga oil and gas field off the West African state.

By the OGJ Online Staff


LONDON, Mar. 15� Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company Ltd., on behalf of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corp., Thursday awarded a string of major contracts to four European companies for the development of its $2.4 billion deepwater Bonga oil and gas field off the West African state.

Engineering company AMEC PLC won the $460 million contract plum to deliver the topside production facilities�complete with modules to handle oil, water, and gas processing, as well as for water injection for reservoir pressure maintenance�for the development's floating production storage and offloading vessel.

AMEC will be responsible for the engineering design, fabrication, integration, and commissioning of the 17,000-tonne topsides, to be installed on the FPSO's $120 million, 300,000-tonne hull when it arrives from Korea's Samsung Heavy Industries' yard in the third quarter of next year.

The UK engineering company will also be responsible for project managing the "many and varied" worldwide aspects of this complex project from its Wallsend yard on Tyneside in the north of England.

ABB Vetco Gray UK Ltd. was awarded the contract for subsea systems and umbilicals, covering subsea wellhead facilities, subsea manifolds, control umbilicals, and riser gas lift equipment. Stolt Offshore Services SA will handle the field's flowlines and risers linking subsea manifolds to the FPSO, as well as the gas export pipeline.

Single Buoy Moorings Ltd. will supply the FPSO's oil offloading single point mooring buoy, as well as handling the transportation of the FPSO, complete with installed topsides, from the AMEC yard to Bonga, mooring of the vessel, and installation of the subsea infrastructure.

"Bonga is a significant component of Shell�s $8.5 billion medium term integrated oil and gas investment program in Nigeria," said Ron van den Berg, Shell Nigeria's managing director. "This initial investment of $2.4 billion is a further demonstration of our commitment to assist Nigeria in increasing daily oil production from 2 million bbl to 4 million bbl by 2010."

Bonga, once developed, according to Shell, will boost Nigeria�s crude oil reserves by some 600 million bbl. The field was discovered with via an exploration well drilled on the OPL 212 concession in 1995. Following a production test in 1996, three appraisal wells were drilled in 1997-98 confirming the expected reserves. First oil from Bonga is scheduled for 2003.

The field's FPSO will be designed to have the capacity to produce 225,000 b/d, store 2 million bbl, and export 170 million scfd of gas to the liquefied natural gas plant at Bonny, Nigeria.

The Bonga contracts will translate into 4,000 jobs in project management, engineering, and construction in the UK offshore industry.

SNEPCO operates two licenses in Nigeria�s deepwater offshore�OPL 212 and OPL 219. The licenses are operated on behalf of NNPC under a production sharing contract by SNEPCO, which has 55%. Esso Exploration and Production Nigeria (Deepwater) Ltd. has 20%, Nigeria Agip Exploration Ltd. 12.5%, and Elf Petroleum Nigeria Ltd. 12.5%.

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