Statoil Launching Nigeria Gas Liquefaction Study

A conceptual study for a floating gas liquefaction plant for use in deep water off Nigeria has been launched with Statoil as project manager. This follows a collaboration agreement between the licensees in blocks 218 and 219, operated by Statoil and Shell respectively, Nigerian state oil company NNPC and the authorities. The companies will pursue technical and commercial studies to build a plant which can produce liquefied natural gas (LNG) on the NnwaDora structure. Extending across both blocks 218 and 219, this reservoir lies in 1,000-1,200 meters of water.

"No floating gas liquefaction facilities of this kind have so far been built for such water depths, but several similar projects are being studied," says Peder Sortland. He is Statoil's project manager in Nigeria for NnwaDora, and adds that a number of land-based LNG developments are currently under consideration in Nigeria. An action team drawn from Statoil, Shell and the NNPC is to be established. Work will be pursued in Stavanger and should take 12-15 months to complete. Reserves in the structure are still being mapped, Mr. Sortland reports. "An exploration well is being drilled in block 218. Implementing an LNG project depends in part on the outcome of this operation." Gas has already been identified in two exploration wells on NnwaDora.

After a decade of offshore exploration in Nigeria, Statoil is involved in two possible projects. In addition to the LNG venture, an oil find has been made by the group as operator in Block 217. A large part of this discovery extends into block 216, operated by ChevronTexaco.