ExxonMobil Turns on the Taps at Ehra
ExxonMobil Corp. said Friday that its affiliate, Esso Exploration and Production Nigeria Limited (EEPNL), has started production from the world-class Erha deepwater development located approximately 60 miles (97 kilometers) offshore Nigeria in 3,900 feet (1,200 meters) of water.
The development includes Erha and Erha North, a satellite development due to come onstream in the third quarter of this year. This is EEPNL's first operated production from Nigeria's deepwater Block 209. Erha production is expected to ramp up to 150,000 barrels a day by the third quarter, and Erha North will contribute another 40,000 daily barrels by year-end for a total production output of 190,000 barrels a day. Erha North will be on production within 30 months of discovery, setting a Nigeria deepwater record. Associated natural gas production from the projects will be approximately 300 million cubic feet a day. The gas will be reinjected for reservoir management.
The Erha and Erha North developments consist of 32 subsea wells tied to a floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel. A single-point mooring buoy, one of the world's largest, will be used for crude carrier docking and product transfer. The facilities were constructed within budget. The total cost for the two developments, including facilities and drilling, is approximately $3.5 billion.
"Erha and Erha North are another demonstration of ExxonMobil's global project execution capability and deepwater technology expertise," said Stuart McGill, ExxonMobil's senior vice president. "Along with our other successful West Africa deepwater developments, Erha and Erha North are helping ExxonMobil meet growing global demand for oil. In addition, these major projects demonstrate our continued commitment to support Nigeria in meeting national goals. Erha and Erha North, along with the recent startup of the Yoho full-field facilities, underscore our commitment to increasing local business development and capacity."
The Erha developments included contract awards to several Nigerian companies for in-country fabrication services, logistics support, as well as training, development, and employment of Nigerians. Activities involved fabrication of the mooring buoy, subsea manifolds, drilling unit pilings, and modules for the FPSO such as the flare tower, pipe racks, and riser protection frames.
Another example of helping to develop local business capability was the subsea system integration test conducted prior to the Erha startup. This test, the first performed in West Africa, ensured all subsea systems and controls worked properly prior to installation. It was held at the Willbros Yard in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, a facility that can now serve as a regional center for future subsea component testing for global deepwater development projects.
EEPNL is the operator of the Erha and Erha North developments and has a 56.25-percent participating interest in the Block 209 contract area, with Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company holding the remaining 43.75 percent.
Erha is the second major facility startup for ExxonMobil affiliates in Nigeria this year. In February, Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited (MPN) started production from the full-field facilities of the Yoho project, with estimated recoverable resources of 440 million oil barrels. Yoho is currently producing about 160,000 barrels of oil a day. It comprises a central production processing platform, 33 wells, a living quarters platform, and a floating, storage, and offloading (FSO) vessel.
Like the Erha developments, the Yoho project also contained significant Nigerian content. Approximately one-third of direct project costs--including engineering, procurement, construction, facility installation and drilling--were expended in the country.
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