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Nigeria’s daily crude oil output may increase by 200,000 barrels by the end of March 2018, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation said. The new output will come from the Egina offshore project, where Italian Saipem is currently working on the production infrastructure and equipment.
First oil from Egina is scheduled for the first quarter of 2018. The 200,000-bpd figure is the scheduled full-scale production rate for the field.
The Egina ultra-deepwater project is operated by French Total, which has a stake of 24 percent in the development. Its partners in the venture are Chinese CNOOC and Petrobras Sapetro. The total value of the project is estimated at US$16 billion, with the floating production storage and offloading vessel to be installed at the field alone costing US$3.3 billion.
The new production will be much appreciated as the problems the Nigerian government is having with militant groups in the Niger Delta will not be resolved quickly. The latest attempt to reach a peace deal with the militants involved a 60-day ceasefire in a bid to bring the most active among them, the Niger Delta Avengers, to the negotiations table.
The halting of hostilities by the NDA lasted just about a month before the group said it blew up another pipeline, carrying Bonny light crude, last week. Shell, which operates the pipeline, did not confirm or deny the attack, but a day later reported a fire detected at one of its two Bonny light pipelines feeding the Forcados terminal and shut it down.
While the NDA was ‘halting hostilities’, other militant groups had continued to attack oil facilities. One of them, the Niger Delta Greenland Justice Mandate, carried out two attacks on NNPC pipelines in September, even though earlier the same month it had agreed to lay down its arms and join the ceasefire.
As of August, Nigeria’s losses in oil production thanks to the attacks on pipelines reached 900,000 bpd.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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Irina is a writer for the U.S.-based Divergente LLC consulting firm with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.