Crude Oil: NNPC, Total to Receive Vessel for New 180,000bpd Field

Nigeria’s crude oil production is to receive a major boost as the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and French oil giant, Total will in March 2011 receive a new offshore floating vessel for crude oil production in Usan oil field, which will add 180,000 barrels per day to Nigeria’s output.

The Floating Production Storage Offloading (FPSO) vessel, which was ordered by Elf Petroleum Nigeria Limited, a subsidiary of Total, Europe’s third-largest oil company, in March 2008, was built at the fabrication yard of Hyundai Heavy Industries Company Limited in Ulsan, South Korea.
FPSO is a large floating vessel that processes and stores crude oil from an offshore field and offloads it into export vessels for shipment.

Total’s Vice President in charge of Exploration and Production in African Division, Mr. Thierry Bourgeous told THISDAY at the pre-naming ceremony of the Usan FPSO at Ulsan yesterday that the Usan FPSO, which has a capacity to store 2 million barrels of oil, was the only FPSO in the country to have individual cabins for 130 people. He also noted that the Usan field, which will yield 180,000barrels per day during plateau production, is expected to produce for 25 years. “It is a major project for Total; for the partners and for Nigeria.”

It will add 180,000barrels per day to Nigeria’s production when it comes to plateau. So, it is a major project for everybody,” he said.

The Total Vice President, who confirmed that the vessel will sail to Nigeria in March next year, also stated that many Nigerian companies were involved in the execution of the project. “We did our best to get many Nigerian companies involved to maximise the local content policy of the government. In other projects we also tried to maximise local content. I can’t give you exactly the number of Nigerian companies involved but they are many. I believe the FPSO will start sailing to Nigeria in March 2011 and we expect the oil field to come on stream in early 2012,” he said.
The Usan oilfield is located around 100 kilometres south of Port Harcourt, in water depths ranging from 750 to 850 metres

The field will be Nigeria’s fifth deepwater oil field, and Total’s second deepwater field, after Akpo, which came on stream in March 2009, with a capacity to produce 225,000 barrels of oil equivalent daily.

Usan field is operated by Total through its wholly owned subsidiary Total Exploration & Production (E &P) Nigeria Limited. Other partners include the NNPC; Chevron; Esso Exploration and Production Nigeria – Offshore East Ltd, a subsidiary of ExxonMobil and Nexen Petroleum Nigeria Ltd.

The field development plan comprises 23 producer wells and 19 water and gas injector wells