Equatorial Guinea gas production rise eyed

Marathon Oil Co. has estimated that its net gas production from Alba field in the Gulf of Guinea off Equatorial Guinea will be higher in calendar 2009 than it was in 2008.

By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, Dec. 1
-- Marathon Oil Co. has estimated that its net gas production from Alba field in the Gulf of Guinea off Equatorial Guinea will be higher in calendar 2009 than it was in 2008.

Marathon estimated that its 2009 production from Alba will average 425 MMcfd of gas and 42,000 b/d of condensate and natural gas liquids net to Marathon’s 63% working interest. The company’s net production for the year ended December 2008 averaged 366 MMcfd, 29,400 b/d of condensate, and 11,100 b/d of NGL.

Alba field’s reservoirs are in the Upper-Middle Miocene Isongo formation at 8,500 ft in 245 ft of water 18 miles northwest of Bioko Island in the southern Rio del Rey basin.

Besides its interest in Alba field, Marathon owns a 52% working interest in the Alba liquefied petroleum gas plant, a 45% working interest in Atlantic Methanol Production Co. LLC (Ampco), and a 60% interest in a 3.7 million tonne/year LNG production facility on Bioko Island. The complex of plants is west of Malabo.

Noble Energy Inc., Houston, holds 34% interest in Alba field, 28% interest in the LPG plant, and 45% interest in the methanol plant. Equatorial Guinea’s state GE Petrol has the other 3% working interest in Alba field.

About 130 MMcfd of dry gas remaining after condensate and LPG removal were supplied to the Ampco plant, where it was used to manufacture 3,250 tonnes/day of methanol in 2008. Some 650 MMcfd of Alba field dry gas was supplied to the LNG plant, which started up in 2007 (OGJ, Oct. 15, 2007, p. 17).

About 3 tcf of dry gas from Alba field will be supplied to the LNG plant under a 17-year contract with BG Gas Marketing Ltd.

Marathon and its partners Sonagas 25%, Mitsui & Co. 8.5%, and a Marubeni Corp. subsidiary 6.5% expect to source other gas in the region to supply the train after that contract expires.

Marathon said it has held discussions with the government regarding a potential second LNG production train on Bioko Island with a capacity of 4.4 million tpy.

An OGJ source said shipments from the existing Bioko LNG plant totaled 58.9 bcf of gas in 2007, 148 bcf in 2008, and 128 bcf in 2009 through the end of October.

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