More Oil Discovered in Nigeria’s South-East

Offshore drilling in Nigeria

Total yesterday announced that its subsidiary Total E&P Nigeria Ltd (TEPNG) has made a new oil discovery in the southeastern corner of Oil Mining Lease (OML) 102 in Nigeria.

The discovery is located 65 kilometers off the southeastern coast of the country, about 15 kilometers southeast of the Ofon field.

Etisong North-1 well was drilled to a total depth of 2,387 metres in 80 metres of water. One of the three reservoirs encountered tested at 8,500 barrels per day of 40° API oil.

A statement from the company said this is the second discovery in the lease, following the Etisong Main find in 2008, increasing the feasibility of a new development hub on OML 102.

“With the exploration being undertaken in Nigeria, Total intends to strengthen its growth strategy,” commented Marc Blaizot, Total’s Senior Vice President Exploration in response to the discovery.

“This strategy is focused on two priorities. On one hand, to strengthen exploration near our production hubs in the conventional offshore to maintain our production levels. On the other hand, amplify deep offshore exploration on riskier prospects of large size around the Akpo and Usan field to grow our reserves.”

OML 102 is operated by TEPNG with a 40% interest, alongside its partner, the Nigeria National petroleum Corporation (NNPC), which holds the remaining 60%.

Total has been present in Nigeria for half a century. Its equity production averaged 300,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day in 2010. Deepwater developments are one of Total’s main growth avenues in Africa, particularly Nigeria, where the Group operates the Akpo field in OML 130. Total is also preparing to develop the Egina field in the same lease. In addition, the offshore Usan field in OML 138 is expected to be brought on stream in early 2012.

Total’s offshore production in Nigeria comes from OML 130, in which the Akpo field is located, and from OMLs 99, 100 and 102, which are operated by the Group as part of a joint venture with NNPC. The main fields in these leases are Amenam-Kpono, Ofon and Edikan.

Total’s onshore production comes from OML 58, which it also operates as part of its joint venture with NNPC. The principal assets are the Obagi oil field and the Ibewa natural gas field. A project is underway to increase the lease’s natural gas and condensate production capacity to supply the domestic market.

Total has significant equity production in Nigeria from its interests in non-operated ventures, particularly the SPDC joint venture (10%) and SNEPCO (12.5%), which includes the Bonga field. Total also has a 15% interest in NLNG, whose liquefied natural gas production capacity was increased to 21.9 million metric tons per year when Train 6 was brought on stream in late 2007.