Shell Roars with Big Cat Discoveries in Nigeria

Shell Nigeria Ultra Deep Limited and Shell Nigeria Exploration Properties Alpha Limited, companies of the Shell Group have made discoveries in two 'Big Cat prospects'. Further appraisal is required to determine the discoveries' resource potential.

The wells, in blocks OPL 322 and OPL 245, were both in frontier areas.

Bobo -1X was drilled in block OPL 322, to a total depth of 5,173 meters in 2,479 meters of water, the second deepest well in offshore Nigeria. Drilling was completed on July 16, 2005, under budget, and found over 140 meters of hydrocarbon bearing sands. Shell Nigeria Exploration Properties Alpha Limited has a 40 per cent shareholding in OPL 322.

Etan -1X was drilled in block OPL 245 to a total depth of 4,574 meters in 1,720 meters of water. The well logged 120 meters of hydrocarbon bearing sands. OPL 245 is 100 per cent held by Shell Nigeria Ultra Deep Limited. Drilling was completed on February 20, 2005.

The wells were drilled by Transocean's drillship, Deepwater Pathfinder, under a unique rig sharing initiative with other Nigeria-based operators, fully supported by the Nigerian Government through its National Petroleum Investment Management Services. The rig sharing arrangement enabled operators to achieve improved synergy, delivery time and cost efficiency.

Chima Ibeneche, Managing Director of Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company Limited, an affiliate of the companies, said: " We are naturally thrilled by these exploration successes in deepwater Nigeria, which could add new material oil to Shell's portfolio. These recent discoveries have been made in a difficult geological frontier setting, and are the fruit of significant investments in local geological knowledge and application of Shell's deepwater technology. Shell is proud of the contribution it is making towards the realization of the potential of Nigeria's frontier deepwater hydrocarbon province."

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