Chineme Okafor in Abuja
Seplat Petroleum Development Company Limited, operator of the Nigeria Petroleum Development Company (NPDC)/SEPLAT Joint Venture (JV) blocks on Oil Mining License (OMLs) 4, 38 and 41, has announced that its Oben gas plant will be shut down intermittently for two weeks to enable it undergo a scheduled upgrade operation.
According to the company, the scheduled shutdown of the 90 metric million scf (mmscf) per day Oben gas plant is part of an ongoing plant upgrade that is designed to extend the lifespan of the plant by another 20 years and also achieve specification of the West African Gas Pipeline (WAGP).
A statement from the Head of Corporate Communications of the company yesterday, Mr. Emmanuel Otokhine, explained that the shutdown operation was the concluding part of the plant upgrade, which the NPDC/SEPLAT JV had invested significant amount of money to undertake.
Otokhine stated that the upgrade operation would be in two phases with each phase running for seven days.
He added that during the first period of the upgrade, the plant would operate at 50 percent of installed capacity, while the second phase would see to a total shutdown of the facility for 7 days.
The statement quoted the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Seplat, Mr. Austin Avuru, to have said that the plant upgrade was another testimony of the joint venture’s unwavering commitment to ensuring a long-term supply of abundant, clean, relatively cheaper fuel to end-users in Nigeria, Ghana, Togo and Benin, thus, providing additional outlet for its gas production in line with the Federal Government initiative to put an end to gas flaring in the upstream sector of Nigeria’s oil and gas industry and further monetise the gas resources of the nation .
Avuru said: “We expect this upgrade to strategically position the NPDC/Seplat JV to maintain a steady supply of high quality gas for domestic obligations and neighbouring countries through the WAGP, thus, helping to stimulate industrial production, growth and support of economic integration in these sub-regional economies.”
The statement noted that starting from Monday, August 13, 2012; the plant would be shut down partially in line with Seplat’s agreement with the Nigerian Gas Company (NGC) and other stakeholders.
It added that during the period of the shutdown, a new control room would be hooked up and pre-fabricated meter run with Depth of Field (DOF) on the sales gas line, valves and vortex flow meters amongst other equipment will be installed.
The Oben field in OML 41 delivers 90mmscf into the gas pipeline owned by NGC, a subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and which is the country’s main gas transporter. The NGC operated Oben-Geregu gas pipeline delivers gas to the 414MW Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) power plant in Geregu.