In what appears like a temporary setback, especially in this era of global oil market crisis, Nigeria’s crude oil output is going to drop further.
This is after the shutdown of the Bonga crude oil export terminal, which is operated by Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company (SNEPCO).
According to Reuters, the Bonga crude oil export terminal will be shut for routine maintenance for 2 weeks and is expected to be done in a record time.
In a statement from Shell, the oil firm said that the maintenance of Bonga floating production storage and offloading unit (FPSO) started in May 21.
The oil production firm said, ‘’The scope includes statutory recertification and critical asset integrity activities and the exercise would run until July during which there will be a few days of total shutdown’’.
The Bonga crude oil export terminal was scheduled to load four cargoes in June or 127,000 barrels per day, an increase from the 123,000 barrel per day that was done in May.
The repairs of the crude oil terminal appear to be behind schedule as Nairametrics had reported that Shell had schedule to carry out the maintenance on the facility earlier with the expectation that it will be ready for use in March.
This exercise is expected to help ensure sustained production and reduced unscheduled production deferments. The turnaround maintenance should involve inspections, recertification, testing and repair of equipment as well as engineering upgrades with Nigerian companies and subsea professional playing key roles.
A major focus is the Bonga floating, production, storage, offloading (FPSO) vessel, which is at the heart of Bonga operations. It has a production capacity of 225,000 barrels of oil and 150 million standard cubic feet of gas per day.
Bonga is Nigeria’s first deep water development in depths of more than 1,000 metres and is located 120km offshore Nigeria. 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 October 2015.
The Bonga is operated by SNEPCO in partnership with Total, Nigerian Agip Exploration Limited, Esso Exploration and Production Nigeria (Deep Water) Limited under a production sharing contract with NNPC.