Ahead of February 2013 target for first oil on Akepo Field in Oil Mining Lease (OML) 90, the Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC) and Sogenal Oil and Gas Limited, operator of the field, have commenced negotiations for the signing of crude oil handling agreement.
THISDAY also gathered that Sogenal has also started negotiations for the signing of crude oil selling agreement with ENI, the selling arm of Agip.
A source close to Agip told THISDAY at the weekend that the agreement would allow Sogenal Oil to produce crude oil from Akepo Field into the Agip facility in Benigboye, near Warri in Delta State.
“Sogenal has started the Engineering Procurement Contract (EPC), which is to get the crude oil from the well-head to the processing facility. They took a decision to use the Agip facility and also decided to construct a well-head jacket. They will also construct a 5-kilometre onshore pipeline and another 10-kilometre offshore pipeline to their well-head. That is the option they took and everything is already set except the pipe-laying, which is on-going now. But by February next year, they will complete the entire EPC project and start producing the oil into the Agip facility,” he said.
He further stated that Sogenal Oil would also sign crude oil sales agreement with ENI for the export of the initial output of 2,000 barrels per day of crude oil from Akepo field.
According to him, Sogenal carried out a successful well re-entry programme in the field and certified initial production of 2,000 barrels per day, which could be ramped up to 10,000 barrels per day in next three years.
A source at Sogenal Oil had told THISDAY that lack of competence of one of the local contractors involved in the development of the field had delayed first oil in the project.
According to him, the project was initially billed to deliver first oil in May 2011 but the milestone was shifted to May 2012 and later November 2012 before the new target date of February 2013.
The company’s history started about 10 years ago, when it was awarded Akepo field, which was one of the marginal fields advertised by the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR).
Out of about 30 companies that were awarded marginal fields, Sogenal is one of the six successful companies that would put their field to production.
Sogenal’s success, according to one of its top executives was as a result of “the determination of the board and management to ensure that we achieve success on the project; support and encouragement from the DPR and the NNPC; as well as the fact that we have a financial partner with Oando E & P, and of course, our excellent relationship with our host communities – Odimodi and Benigboye communities of Delta State”