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Nigeria's Opuama Field to Restart Production by Year-End

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West Africa-focused Eland Oil & Gas reported Wednesday that final works on repairing the Opuama Production Facility in Nigeria are within weeks of being completed, meaning that the Opuama field – located on the firm's OML 40 license – is set to soon come back into production for the first time in seven years.

Eland said that the activities of the operator, NPDC, during 2013 have been focused on replacing corroded infield flowlines, refurbishment of the field's production flow station and the repair of the oil export pipeline, including the replacement of all corroded and damaged sections.

So far, the firm said work has been completed to fully replace the three flowlines on the planned existing start-up wells in the field. These flowlines have been trenched and overlaid with protective concrete mats at major water crossings.

Meanwhile, the eight-inch and 10-inch sections of the export pipeline have been surveyed and repaired, with this part of the line currently being flushed prior to conducting a full pressure test to verify its integrity. Repairs to the final 15-mile long, 12-inch section to Otumara are ongoing and expected to be completed within the next three to four weeks.

The Opuama flowstation rehabilitation work is currently underway and expected to be finished within five weeks.

Eland said that the year-end exit production rate is expected to be in excess of 2,500 barrels of oil per day from the planned restart of the two existing wells in the Opuama field. It is then anticipated that production will increase by around 3,000 bopd for each subsequent new well drilled during 2014. A designated rig is expected to become available in early 2014, from when the operator will drill six development wells within the Opuama field.

Eland CEO Les Blair commented in a company statement:

"Our immediate focus is to restore oil production on OML 40 and we have a close working relationship with the operator, NPDC, to achieve this goal. In parallel we continue planning for the extensive development drilling campaign on OML 40, starting with six wells on the Opuama Field.

"The delays we have experienced are frustrating but not unexpected in a project of this complexity and in the environment in which we are operating. The management of Eland have significant experience of working in Nigeria and have established excellent working relationships with NPDC and all of our stakeholders in the license area. This will stand the company in good stead to unlock the value inherent in OML 40, which will be amply demonstrated when the drilling campaign gets underway."

Eland holds a 45-percent interest in OML 40.



A former engineer, Jon is an award-winning editor who has covered the technology, engineering and energy sectors since the mid-1990s. Email Jon at jmainwaring@rigzone.com

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