Chevron, Total et al Prepare to Dive into Usan Project Offshore Nigeria

Total announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary Elf Petroleum Nigeria Limited (EPNL) has obtained the required approvals from the Nigerian government and co-venturers to begin developing the offshore Usan field, which it operates. Co-venturers in the Usan development include Elf Petroleum Nigeria Limited (20%, operator), Chevron Petroleum Nigeria Ltd (30%), Esso Exploration and Production Nigeria (Offshore East) Ltd. (30%) and Nexen Petroleum Nigeria Ltd. (20%).

Discovered in 2002 in OPL 222, the Usan oil field is located around 100 kilometres offshore, in water depths ranging from 750 to 850 metres.

Proved and probable reserves of the Usan field are expected to be more than 500 million barrels of oil.

Usan is expected to come on stream early in 2012 and to ramp up quickly to plateau production of 180,000 barrels of oil per day. The associated gas will be reinjected in the reservoir.

The field development plan comprises 23 producer wells and 19 water and gas injector wells tied back to a floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) unit with a storage capacity of 2 million barrels of oil.

The project introduces a number of technological innovations and builds on Total's leadership as an operator of large-scale deepwater developments in West Africa.

In line with Total's commitments, the Usan project further advances Nigeria's local content policy: according to the present plan a significant step is expected on the work to be performed in Nigeria. More than 11 million man hours are planned for the different aspects of the project: engineering, yards, offshore works and management. Nearly half of the 7,500 tons of the modules installed on the FPSO will be integrated onsite.

Total also reported that the government has approved EPNL's application for conversion of Oil Prospecting License (OPL) 222 (Total operator, 20%) into two Oil Mining Licences (OMLs 138 and 139), each covering half the original area of OPL 222. The Usan field is located in OML 138.