First oil from Usan field boosts Nigeria

Nigeria’s daily oil production capacity is to receive a boost by about 180,000 barrels as Chevron Nigeria Limited (CNL) and ExxonMobil Corporation on Friday announced the production of first oil from their joint deepwater Usan offshore development project in Nigeria.

Chevron Petroleum Nigeria Limited, controls 30 per cent stake in the project, while Total E&P Nigeria Limited is the operator on behalf of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) with 20 per cent stakeholding, with Esso E&P Nigeria (Offshore East) Limited (30 per cent) and Nexen Petroleum Nigeria Limited (20 per cent) as partners.

The field is one of the strategic projects the company has  been pursuing towards realising its production potentials, apart from the construction of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) facilities.

Chevron Corporation’s Vice Chairman, George Kirkland, who said Usan represents an important milestone in progressing the company’s queue of major capital projects, pointed out that the project demonstrates Chevron’s growth in West Africa.

ExxonMobil ‘s Development Company president, Neil Duffin, said “the project represents another major achievement of the industry and Nigerians working together to develop the country’s resources. Usan is providing significant benefits including revenues, employment and opportunities for local suppliers.”

Discovered in 2002, the Usan field is located approximately 62 miles (100 kilometers) off the Niger Delta coast in water depths of about 2,400 feet (about 750 meters).

The project would utilize a floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel with a storage capacity of two million barrels of oil and a maximum total daily production capacity of 180,000 barrels of crude oil. Associated gas would be re-injected into the reservoir.

Usan is Chevron’s second deepwater project in Nigeria after the 240,000 barrels of crude oil per day Agbami project as well as ExxonMobil’s second after its Erha offshore development project.

In February 2008, Total received government’s approval to commence the development of the field discovered in 2002 in oil prospecting lease (OPL) 222 with proven and probable reserves estimated in excess of 500 million barrels of oil.

The development of the Usan field involves 23 production wells and 19 water and gas injection wells connected to a two-million-barrel capacity FPSO vessel by subsea lines and risers. First oil was originally planned for 2010, but was postponed till 2012 as a result of the constraints and challenges in the industry.

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