Nigeria’s leading deepwater company, Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company (SNEPCo), is carrying out reclamation maintenance this month on the country’s first deepwater development, Bonga.
The reclamation maintenance being carried out by Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company (SNEPCo) on the Bonga field is another milestone in the operations of an asset that has delivered value to Nigeria and other stakeholders since it came online in 2005. The reclamation maintenance It is a review of facilities and processes in order to revitalize them for continued optimal use. The exercise will focus on the giant floating, production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel that handles production in the field. Crude oil produced in the Bonga field is unloaded in tankers via the FPSO, while gas is piped to the LNG plant. The reclamation maintenance, the seventh since the field began production, will help, among other things, further deepen deepwater technology in Nigeria, as many indigenous companies and personnel will play key roles. Nigerian vendors and service providers will also be heavily involved as they were in previous maintenance activities.
Shell, the world leader in deepwater, created SNEPCo in 1993 to explore for oil in the Gulf of Guinea. Long before that, Shell had pioneered onshore oil and gas production through the operations of what later became known as The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Ltd (SPDC). The company exported the first shipment of oil from Nigeria in February 1958.
However, the deepwater zone is more complex as sub-zero temperatures, water pressure and total darkness make oil and gas production in that area a major technical and environmental challenge. Many years later, Shell’s bold move has delivered tangible benefits to the Nigerian state, as SNEPCo, with the support of NNPC Ltd and the joint venture partners (TotalEnergies, Nigerian Agip Oil Company and ExxonMobil), has produced oil and petroleum safely and efficiently. Bonga gas and related fields, launching Nigeria into the league of deepwater producers.
Named after a species of local fish, Bonga increased Nigeria’s oil capacity by 10% when production began and has since produced more than 950 million barrels of oil since 2005. The field has the capacity to produce more than 200,000 barrels of oil per day. and 150 million standard cubic feet of gas per day. Oil production has gone hand in hand with contributions to the Nigerian stock market. Last year, SNEPCo remitted $562 million in corporate taxes and payments to the government and another $23 million to the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
Following the success of Bonga, SNEPCo implemented the Bonga North West project, achieving first oil in 2014. Bonga North and Bonga South West Aparo are two potential developments. SNEPCo’s exploration activities have inspired several significant oil and gas discoveries in the past two decades, including the Bolia and Doro fields, in which it has a 55% working interest. Today, nearly a third of Nigeria’s deepwater oil and gas production comes from the Bonga and Erha undeveloped fields.
Operations at Bonga have resulted in the creation of a generation of deepwater professionals, suppliers and service providers, and SNEPCo awarded significant engineering and construction contracts to indigenous companies. In one example, the manufacture and reconstruction of flying hydraulic cables and the restoration of old underwater trees are carried out in the country by wholly indigenous companies. SNEPCo’s efforts to develop Nigerian content predate the enactment of the Nigerian Content Act in 2010. The efforts have seen Bonga evolve as a Nigerian-delivered business using the experience and best practices provided by Shell. About 96% of SNEPCo’s staff are Nigerian and since 2005 the CEO of the company has been a Nigerian, with Ms. Elohor Aiboni currently the first woman in the position.
Social investments, especially in education and health, are a key part of SNEPCo’s operations. Its National University Scholarship, delivered in conjunction with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited, has supported more than 490 Nigerian students since the program launched in 2016. Another postgraduate scholarship program introduced in 2017 allows graduates from any Nigerian state get a master’s degree in petroleum. and gas-related disciplines from leading UK universities. Late last year, the Nigerian Tertiary Education Trust Fund presented an award to SNEPCo for its continued contributions to the growth of the public tertiary education sector. In 2019, the company launched the Vision First initiative, bringing medical vision care to various parts of the country. The last outreach of the program was carried out in Lagos two months ago and more than 2000 people benefited.
SNEPCo’s contributions to Nigeria’s development were praised by National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS) Group General Manager Mr. Bala Wunti, who led his leadership team on a visit to the Bonga field last month. past before recovery maintenance. Mr Wunti described Bonga’s operations as “the best in his class”. He is the same spirit of excellence that will guide the safe and timely execution of maintenance at the Bonga field and will help ensure that Shell continues to deliver dividends to Nigeria and other stakeholders through its deepwater operations.