Chevron Nigeria plant cost up 42 per cent

CHEVRON EXPECTS A much-delayed Nigerian plant that will convert natural gas to liquids to cost $8.4bn, $2.5bn or 42.4 per cent more than its last estimate.

According to Reuters, South Africa's Sasol, a 10 per cent owner of the GTL plant that had originally expected completion in 2010 at a cost of about $3bn, said last May it would not start up until 2013.

The 33,000 bpd plant, located 100km southeast of Lagos, is being developed along with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation. Chevron, which put the cost at $5.9bn last year, gave the updated estimate for the plant, now 70 per cent complete, in its recently released annual report.

But the company remains enthusiastic about the project, which it said would allow Nigeria to perform a leading role in an advanced sector of the energy and fuel market. A spokesman for Chevron said that the project costs reflected the state of construction costs for similar projects across the petroleum industry.

Chevron also said in the report that it would sign an engineering deal in the second quarter for the Phase 3B expansion of the nearby Escravos Gas Plant, which would now be complete in 2013, instead of 2012 as expected last year.

The company completed 21 exploratory wells in 2010, of which nine were unsuccessful, versus 31 in 2009 - of which 11 were dry.

In Angola, Chevron said a successful exploration well was completed late last year in the Lucapa field, and early design work on the project would start in the third quarter.


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