Total blames technical hitches for OML58/IBEWA water-gas resurgence

Oscarline Onwuemenyi

14 April 2012, sweetcrude, ABUJA - Total Exploration and Production Nigeria Limited (TEPNG) has blamed technical hitches for the recent incident of water and gas resurgence points, which was observed in an uninhabited area close to its onshore Obite gas production facilities, on the OML 58 license.

OML 58 is a concession operated by TEPNG on behalf of the NNPC/Total joint venture in Ogba/Ndoni/Egbema Local Government Area (ONELGA), Rivers State.

According to the company, the event is the likely consequence of a technical incident that occurred during drilling operations on the same site, on March 20, 2012.

A statement from the company noted that production from the Obite gas plant has been stopped and wells shut down. “Since the beginning, a special task force has been in place with the support of well-control experts in order to implement technical solutions to resolve the situation,” the statement noted.

It added that there have been no injuries, stressing that TEPNG is working in close collaboration with representatives of the Egi community who reside in the vicinity of the facilities and also with the Nigerian authorities.

“All necessary means to ensure the protection of nearby communities and personnel and to limit the impact on the environment have been immediately mobilized. Strict monitoring of the environment is ongoing and a safety perimeter has been established.

“Domestic water analysis and air quality controls are being processed on a daily basis and have not revealed any presence of hydrocarbons or toxic elements,” it stated.

The group observed that since March 20, 2012, federal and local authorities have been informed of the evolution of the situation. TEPNG reiterates its regrets regarding the trouble the situation has caused and will continue to communicate with stakeholders, including meetings and forums with the communities and regular briefing to the authorities. TEPNG thanks the neighboring communities for their cooperation and understanding of the situation.

“TEPNG wishes to express its gratitude to the ONELGA leadership and people of Egi communities for their understanding, co-operation and support. TEPNG re-emphasizes that the main priority is the safety and well-being of the people and environment as it seeks to implement technical solutions to the problem at hand,” it stated.

The Obite Gas Plant (OGP) of Total E&P Nigeria Limited (TEPNG) had been recently awarded ISO-14001 Certification , the fourth time in as many years, an indication that operations at the plant are carried on under international best accepted practices.

The development, which was achieved on February 11, 2010, is the culmination of a rigorous process supervised by the British Standard Institute (BSI).

Situated in OML 58 in ONELGA local government area of Rivers State, the Obite Gas Plant is the first of Total E&P sites in Nigeria to achieve the ISO-14001 certification. That was in 2007.

The Obite Gas Plant processes Non-Associated Gas (from HP Gas wells) and Associated Gas (from Obagi Gas Compression) which it exports on an extended capacity of 10.65 Million Standard Metric Cubes of Gas to the Nigeria LNG Plant in Bonny.

In addition, the extracted Condensate is used to blend the crude oil from Obagi area to make it commercially viable which is then marketed as Bonny Light crude and exported through Shell’s Bonny Terminal.

Total Exploration & Production Nigeria Total has been operating in exploration and production in Nigeria for close to 50 years. Total’s operated production in Nigeria comes from the OML 58, 99, 100 and 102 blocks as part of a joint venture with NNPC. The main fields are Obagi, Obite, Amenam-Kpono, Ofon and Odudu. Total also operates block OML 130, which contains the Akpo deep water development that started production in March.

Total has other 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 holds a 15% interest in NLNG with a current LNG production capacity of 21.9 million metric tons per year.

Developing the country’s deep offshore resources is one of the Group’s main growth drivers in Africa. The development of the OML 138 Usan field, Total’s second development in deep offshore Nigeria, was launched in early 2008 and the field is expected to come on stream in 2012. Near Akpo in the OML 130, the Egina field whose basic engineering studies are underway will be Total’s third deep offshore development in Nigeria.

In 2008 the Group’s production in Africa amounted to 783,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day representing 33% of the Group’s overall production. In addition to Nigeria, Total also produces in Algeria, Libya, Cameroon, Gabon, the Republic of Congo and Angola. Total E&P Nigeria Limited (TEPNG) is a subsidiary of the Total Group of companies.

Total is the fourth largest Oil and Gas Company in the world with operations in more than 100 countries. The group’s activities span all aspects of the energy industry, from oil and gas exploration and production to downstream refining and marketing of oil and gas products.