Nigeria’s first deep-water exploration and production vessel, Bonga, hit a one-billion-barrel oil export mark on Monday, three months after a major turnaround maintenance (TAM) of the facility was completed ahead of schedule.
In a statement issued Monday, the Director of Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company Limited (SNEPCo), Elohor Aiboni, described the milestone as a celebration of excellence, leadership and focused delivery that has brought significant benefits to Nigeria and Nigerians.
“One billion barrels is an exciting milestone,” said Aiboni, SNEPCo’ s first female Managing Director, adding, “I’m incredibly proud of all of our employees and contractors who’ve contributed to the success of the Bonga FPSO and the attainment of this remarkable achievement.”
Aiboni also attributed the success of Bonga to the supportive partnership with the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited and SNEPCo’s co-venturers – TotalEnergies EP Nigeria Limited, Nigerian Agip Oil Company, and Esso Exploration and Production Nigeria Limited.
Bonga’s floating production, storage, and offloading (FPSO) vessel, which began operations in 2005 is anchored 120 kilometres offshore in the Gulf of Guinea and has consistently delivered value in national revenue, local capacity development of Nigerian engineers and funding support to the service industry, in addition to its many social investment programmes in health, education and sports.
According to Aiboni, the integrated delivery approach, continuous improvement and the support lever offered by the technological prowess of the Shell Group were the pillars of SNEPCo’s excellence delivery.
“We are building a leading safe, simpler and cost-disciplined deep-water business that brings value to our partners, shareholders and Nigeria which remains a heartland for Shell,” she said.
The Bonga FPSO vessel has enjoyed significant expansion over the years with the further drilling of wells in Bonga Phases 2 and 3 and through a subsea tie-back that unlocked the nearby Bonga Northwest field in August 2014. Bonga Northwest can produce approximately 65,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day and was named Engineering Project of the Year 2015 at the prestigious Platts Global Energy Awards in New York.
Speaking on the Bonga billion-barrel milestone, the Country Chair, Shell Companies in Nigeria, Osagie Okunbor, commended the resilience, focus and dedication of the entire SNEPCo team, most of whom are Nigerians.
“I feel a strong sense of pride knowing that today, over 95 per cent of SNEPCo staff, including those working on the Bonga FPSO, are trained Nigerian deep-water professionals, who daily contribute their quota, in the development of Nigeria’s deep-water hydrocarbon resources. The entire team should be incredibly proud of themselves,” Okunbor said.
In a congratulatory message to SNEPCo and its co-venture partners, Chief Upstream Investment Officer of NNPC’s Nigeria Upstream Investment Management Services (NUIMS), Bala Wunti, said, “The many successes recorded by Bonga have continued to trigger significant development in Nigerian’s deep-water oil and gas exploration and production, for which reason the place of Bonga in Nigeria’s upstream DNA cannot be overemphasised.”
Ejiofor Alike and Peter Uzoho