Total, operator of Block OML138, announced the start-up of production of the offshore Usan field in Nigeria, in line with the planned schedule. Usan is the second deep offshore development operated by Total in Nigeria, coming on stream less than three years after Akpo.
Discovered in 2002, the Usan field lies around 62 miles (100 kilometers) off the South East Nigerian coast in water depths ranging from 2,461 to 2,789 feet (750 to 850 meters). The Usan development comprises a spread moored Floating Production, Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessel designed to process 180,000 barrels per day and with a crude storage capacity of 2 million barrels. Its size of 1,050 feet (320 meters) long and 200 feet (61 meters) 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 43 miles (70 kilometers) long subsea network.
Yves-Louis Darricarrère, President Exploration-Production at Total, stated: "I'm particularly proud to announce start-up of this major project together with the concession holder NNPC. 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 minimizes the project's environmental impact. The development of Usan has involved a record 60 percent of local content man-hours and thus has contributed to strengthening the know-how 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 14 million 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 programs 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% interest, while Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) is the concession holder. Total's partners are Chevron Petroleum Nigeria Ltd. (30%), Esso E&P Nigeria (Offshore East) Ltd. (30%) and Nexen Petroleum Nigeria Ltd. (20%).
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