Shell schedules Bonga oilfield’s maintenance

Nigeria’s oil production might be affected as Bonga oilfield, owned by Royal Dutch Shell, has been scheduled for maintenance.

While the exact dates of the exercise have not been fixed, the maintenance is expected to start in March and end in April. The oilfield will also undergo regulatory inspections.

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“The Bonga FPSO will be undergoing scheduled maintenance and project activities in addition to regulatory inspections during March and April.

“Exact dates and production impacts are currently under review,” a spokesman said.

Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company (SNEPco), a subsidiary of Shell in Nigeria, currently operates the offshore field which is located in the OML 118 block.

According to a report by Reuters, around 153,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude are due for export in March but no April loading programme has emerged. Two cargo loading dates were, however, reportedly deferred from March to April 1-2 and 11-12, traders disclosed.

Meanwhile, Shell is reportedly planning on developing another field called Bonga South West at OML 118 block. This is expected to gulp about $10 billion and add 200,000 barrels per day (bpd), which will be roughly 10% of Nigeria’s current oil production.

But there’s a problem preventing the development of the Bonga South West, which is the uncertainty over future fiscal terms. This has delayed a final investment decision. Nairametrics had reported that SNEPCo announced the release of Invitation to Tender (ITT) to contractors for the development of the Bonga South West Aparo (BSWA) oil field in February 2019.

It was reported that the project’s initial phase includes a new Floating, Production, Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessel, more than 20 deep-water wells and related subsea infrastructure. The field lies across Oil Mining Leases 118, 132 and 140, about 15km southwest of the existing Bonga Main FPSO. The first oil is expected around 2021 or 2022.

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