Shell Awarded Block Offshore Nigeria

Shell confirmed that it has been awarded the deepwater block OPL 245 offshore Nigeria. OPL 245 is adjacent to two recent billion-barrel discoveries. The Agbami discovery was made by ChevronTexaco in Block OPL 216 and the Akpo discovery was made by TotalFinaElf on block OPL 246.

However the block is the subject of a lawsuit filed by Malabu Oil, a local Nigerian operator. The small Nigerian oil and gas company alleges that the Nigerian government had granted it rights to Block 245 in 1998 but that government officials took bribes in exchange for reallocating the block to certain Royal Dutch/Shell units.

According to a company spokesperson for Shell, the company was awarded the block in May. However, due to the ongoing lawsuit, the spokesperson declined to make any further comments.

The field is scheduled to come onstream sometime in 2006 with an estimated daily production capacity of 200,000-250,000 barrels per day.