Conoco eyes involvement in Niger Delta fields

Conoco Energy Nigeria Ltd. has begun negotiations to participate in the development of Nigerian Petroleum Development Co.'s two oil fields in the Niger Delta, Conoco Managing Director Paul Warwick said last week.


ABUJA�Conoco Energy Nigeria Ltd. has begun negotiations to participate in the development of Nigerian Petroleum Development Co.'s two oil fields in the Niger Delta, Conoco Managing Director Paul Warwick said here last week.

NPDC is an exploration and production subsidiary of the state-run Nigerian National Petroleum Corp.

Warwick said in an interview with the OPEC News Agency that NPDC's two fields on Oil Prospecting Lease 91 are attractive to Conoco in the light of the company's experience in Nigeria.

Conoco Energy is producing 22,280 b/d from its Ukpokiti marginal oil field on OPL 74 in the Niger Delta. The field, located 24 km offshore in 88 ft of water, was discovered in 1992. It has recoverable reserves of 30 million bbl.

Warwick expressed confidence that, given the go-ahead, Conoco would become the contractor of choice on NPDC fields. He said his confidence is based on the fact that the company has been working as a partner with the state-run oil companies of Venezuela, Trinidad and Tobago, Russia, Viet Nam, and the United Arab Emirates.

Warwick said Conoco submitted a "very attractive" bid of $164 million on OPL 249 in March when the Nigerian government offered 22 oil blocks for open competitive bidding. The bids were opened last month. Block winners should be announced in the fourth quarter (OGJ Online, July 10, 2000).

Warwick commended the Nigerian decision to allocate new oil fields to operators through competitive bidding. In the past, there were accusations of political favoritism in the awarding of oil properties.

Community upheavals notwithstanding, Warwick pointed out, the Niger Delta is one of the most prolific frontiers in the world.

Roger Pinkerton, manager of global exploration at Conoco Inc., who was in Nigeria last week, said his firm also is interested in contributing to the gas-gathering and utilization strategies being mapped out by the Nigerian government.

Nigeria has proven gas reserves of 124 tcf, or 17 billion boe. About 65% of the associated gas in its oil fields is flared, while the rest is used to enhance crude recovery, or in gas-related projects such as Nigeria's LNG plant.

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