Total, operator of Block OML138, has announced the start-up of production of the offshore Usan field in Nigeria
Usan is the second deep offshore development operated by Total in Nigeria, coming on stream less than three years after Akpo, in line with the company’s planned schedule. Discovered in 2002, the Usan field lies around 100 km off the South East Nigerian coast in water depths ranging from 750 to 850 m.
The Usan development comprises a spread moored Floating Production, Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessel designed to process 180,000 bpd and with a crude storage capacity of two million barrels. Its size of 320 m long and 61 m wide makes it one of the largest vessels of this type in the world. Development involves 42 wells that are connected to the FPSO by a 70 kilometre-long subsea network.
"I'm particularly proud to announce start-up of this major project together with the concession holder NNPC,” said Yves-Louis Darricarrère, President Exploration-Production at Total. “This project demonstrates the ability of Total, a key operator of large-scale deep offshore developments in the Gulf of Guinea, to lead ambitious projects that will contribute to increase production for the group and for the country. Total as operator has introduced a number of technological innovations, among which is a solution that drastically reduces gas flaring and thus minimises the project's environmental impact. The development of Usan has involved a record 60 per cent of local content man-hours and thus has contributed to strengthening the knowhow of the Nigerian industry in the area of hydrocarbon exploitation in the deep offshore."
The Usan project has involved an unprecedented level of Nigerian local content, with over 500,000 engineering man-hours and 14mn construction and installation man-hours performed in Nigeria. FPSO construction included an offshore integration of 3,500 tons of locally fabricated structures. In addition, large-scale training and capacity building programmes were put in place, raising the skills of the local workforce to the benefit of future projects.
Total's wholly owned subsidiary Total E&P Nigeria Ltd. operates OML 138 with a 20 per cent interest, while Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) is the concession holder. Total's partners are Chevron Petroleum Nigeria Ltd. (30 per cent), Esso E&P Nigeria (Offshore East) Ltd. (30 per cent) and Nexen Petroleum Nigeria Ltd. (20 per cent).