Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company Limited (SNEPCo) has shut down the Bonga deepwater oilfield and commenced turnaround maintenance, executing statutory activities that will ensure continuous optimum operations at the field.
The turnaround maintenance involves inspections, recertification, testing and repair of equipment as well as engineering upgrades with Nigerian companies and subsea professional playing key roles.
The routine maintenance will take off a significant chunk from Nigeria’s crude oil exports, as SNEPCo produces close to 200,000 barrels per day in the 225,000 barrels per day capacity Bonga field, which it operates under Production Sharing Contract (PSC) with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
A major focus of the maintenance is the Bonga Floating, Production, Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessel, which is at the heart of Bonga operations.
Bonga FPSO has the capacity to produce 225,000 barrels of oil and 150 million standard cubic feet of gas per day.
Bonga FPSO, which has a life-span of 20 years, was shut down for six weeks in February 2011 for maintenance.
However, the Managing Director of SNEPCO, Mr. Bayo Ojulari, said in a statement yesterday that the current maintenance of the field was the fourth since the Bonga field began production in November 2005.
“The exercise will help ensure sustained production and reduced unscheduled production deferments. For the Bonga team, this is another opportunity to excel, having won the ‘Asset of the Year’ Award 2016 in the Shell Group, followed by runners-up in Norway and Malaysia. We are pleased that the award recognised the continuing collaboration towards optimum production with a focus on safety, cost and Nigerian content development which will be invaluable in the maintenance work,” Ojulari added.
Shell Nigeria spokesman, Mr. Bamidele Odugbesan, said production from the field was shut down on March 4, 2017, and is expected to resume at the conclusion of the exercise next month.
Located in Oil Prospecting Licence (OPL) 212, the 60-square-kilometre field is situated in water depths of over 1,000 metres.
Bonga is Nigeria’s first deep-water development and is located 120 kilometres offshore Nigeria.
With a development cost to first oil of about $3.6 billion, Bonga’s production facilities comprise one of the world’s largest FPSO vessels and deepwater subsea infrastructure.
The field’s initial 16 subsea oil producing and water injection wells were connected to the two-million barrel storage capacity FPSO by production flowlines, risers and control umbilicals.
The use of inconel clad Steel Catenary Risers in Bonga was the first time such facility was used on any FPSO anywhere in the world.
SNEPCo expanded the project with further drilling of wells in Bonga Phases 2 and 3 and through a subsea tie-back that unlocked the nearby Bonga North West field in August 2014.
Bonga Phase 3 achieved first oil in October 2015.
SNEPCo operates Bonga in partnership with Esso Exploration and Production Nigeria (Deep Water) Limited; Total E&P Nigeria Limited; and Nigerian Agip Exploration Limited under a PSC with NNPC.
Employing cutting edge technology, SNEPCo made a world-class oil and gas find at its offshore Bonga in 1995.
The Bonga FPSO was built by Samsung Heavy Industries of Korea for SNEPCo, which began operations in April 1993.