OPTS, Shell Upbeat about Development of Major Upstream Oil, Gas Projects

Peter Uzoho

The Oil Producers Trade Section (OPTS), an arm of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) and Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) have expressed confidence that big multi-billion-dollar upstream oil and gas development projects will take off soon in Nigeria.

The Deputy Chairman of OPTS and Chairman, Shell Companies in Nigeria, Mr. Osagie Okunbor, who stated this recently, also expressed the commitment of Shell, OPTS and the Independent Petroleum Producers Group (IPPG) towards development of major offshore upstream projects like the HA and HI offshore oil and gas fields in the Niger Delta.

Okunbor disclosed this during a panel session on “Defining the Requisite Roadmap for Increased Gas Production”, at the recently held 11th Practical Nigerian Content Forum (PNC) in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, with the theme: “Deepening Nigerian Content Opportunities in the Decade of Gas”

He spoke in response to the updates provided by fellow panelist and Chief Investment Officer, NNPC Upstream Investments Management Services (NUIMS), Mr. Bala Wunti, who had revealed at the session that the NNPC and its partners were pushing to see new projects sanctioned in no distant time.
He had stated that they were bringing another American oil major to take part in the Bonga Southwest/Aparo Final Investment Decision (FID) billed to take place in 2024.

“I did mention that we’re going for FID on Bonga North either last quarter of this year or first quarter next year. I did mention that Bonga South-west is going to sleep, we’re going to focus on 2024. We’re aligning with all our partners to focus on doing Bonga South-west/Aparo.

“We’re bringing one American more to make it for Aparo. So we’re targeting the FID in 2024. For several other projects with Chevron, we hope to do the FID before the end of first quarter of 2023 – the Agbami Gas Project. All these are coming with significant gaseous hydrocarbon,” Wunti had revealed.
But corroborating Wunti, Okunbor said the big multi-billion dollars projects were on course, saying the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) had provided the right framework and stability for progress to be made in executing major projects.

“I think the key takeaways is that the stars are lining up for the big projects to take off, and Bala just spoke about most of the projects in deep water.
“What he has not talked about is that it is the tremendous efforts by himself and the partners to get that going. Don’t forget we still have the NNPC 7 critical gas projects still there that we all need to find a way to make work. And as you can expect, a lot of work is going into that.

“We’re glad that the PIA has provided the right framework and the right stability for us to be able to make some progress in this area. With that kind of backdrop, the OPTS’ companies are the big spenders, they are the ones who can fund and shoulder multi-billion dollar projects”, Okunbor said.
He said with the collaboration of stakeholders including the OPTS, IPPG and the international oil companies (IOCs) he strongly believed that the future of the Nigerian gas sector was bright, adding that more needed to be done to achieve the set goals.

Citing the Shell’s HA and HI offshore fields which hold large gas deposits, he said the NNPC and the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) were extremely important in driving through some of the multi-billion dollar projects.

Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC) planned to develop the HA field, located in shallow offshore acreage on Oil Mining Lease (OML) 77 approximately 20-kilometer south of the Eastern Niger Delta.
The project was envisaged to produce 250 Million Standard Cubic Feet Per Day (MMSCFD), 40,000 Barrels Per Day (BPD) of gross liquids, and 30,000 BPD of peak oil/condensates.

On the other hand, the HI Field is a conventional gas development located in shallow water and operated by Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company (SNEPCO). HI lies in block OML 144 (OPL 238).
Production from the HI conventional gas development project is expected to begin in 2025 and is forecast to peak in 2027, to approximately 6,942 bpd of crude oil and condensate and 408 Mmcfd of natural gas. Based on economic assumptions, the production would continue until the field reaches its economic limit in 2043.

The project is currently in feed stage and was expected to start commercial production in 2025.
The field is expected to recover 277.55 Mmboe, comprised of 18.9 Mmbbl of crude oil and condensate and 1,551.92 billion cubic feet (bcf) of natural gas reserves.
“I’m very convinced that we have all it takes in a bid to drive some of these projects through the OPTS, IPPG framework, so that just like Bala Wunti just announced progress, we’re able to also announce progress in some these big gas projects, both domestic and export”, the OPTS deputy chairman added.

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