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Angola: Total’s Usan Produces First Oil

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French supermajor Total, operator of Block OML138, announces the start-up of production of the offshore Usan field in Nigeria, in line with the planned schedule. Usan is the second deep offshore development operated by Total in Nigeria, coming on stream less than three years after Akpo.

Discovered in 2002, the Usan field lies around 100 kilometers off the South East Nigerian coast in water depths ranging from 750 to 850 meters. The Usan development comprises a spread moored Floating Production, Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessel designed to process 180 000 barrels per day and with a crude storage capacity of 2 million barrels. Its size of 320 meters long and 61 meters wide makes it one of the largest vessels of this type in the world. Development involves 42 wells that are connected to the FPSO by a 70 kilometers long subsea network.

Yves-Louis Darricarrère, President Exploration-Production at Total, stated on the occasion:

“I’m particularly proud to announce start-up of this major project together with the concession holder NNPC. This project demonstrates the ability of Total, a key operator of large-scale deep offshore developments in the Gulf of Guinea, to lead ambitious projects that will contribute to increase production for the Group and for the country. Total as operator has introduced a number of technological innovations, among which is a solution that drastically reduces gas flaring and thus minimizes the project’s environmental impact. The development of Usan has involved a record 60% of local content man-hours and thus has contributed to strengthening the know-how of the Nigerian industry in the area of hydrocarbon exploitation in the deep offshore.”

The Usan project has involved an unprecedented level of Nigerian local content, with over 500,000 engineering man-hours and 14 million construction and installation man-hours performed in Nigeria. FPSO construction included an offshore integration of 3,500 tons of locally fabricated structures. In addition, large-scale training and capacity building programs were put in place, raising the skills of the local workforce to the benefit of future projects.

Total’s wholly owned subsidiary Total E&P Nigeria Ltd. operates OML 138 with a 20% interest, while Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) is the concession holder. Total’s partners are Chevron Petroleum Nigeria Ltd. (30%), Esso E&P Nigeria (Offshore East) Ltd. (30%) and Nexen Petroleum Nigeria Ltd. (20%).

Offshore Energy Today Staff, February 24, 2012

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Two Workers Missing, Rig Partially Collapsed in Fire Incident Offshore Nigeria

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Chevron Corporation said that an extensive search and rescue effort continues for two contractors who remain missing after a fire aboard the K.S. Endeavor, a drilling rig offshore Nigeria operated by FODE Drilling Nigeria Limited.

“While Chevron s highest priority remains the rescue of the missing contractors, the company continues to devote the necessary resources to resolve the rig incident in a responsible and timely manner.” said Chevron in a press release.

As previously reported, the K.S. Endeavor was drilling a natural gas exploration well for Chevron Nigeria Limited (CNL). The well is located in the Funiwa Field approximately six miles (10 kilometers) offshore and in approximately 40 feet (12 meters) of water.

Chevron reported that 152 workers on the rig and an associated barge were safely evacuated. They are now onshore and have been given medical examinations. Two remain hospitalized due to minor burns, while others are being held for further observation. .

While a full investigation is still underway, Chevron said initial indications point to the possible failure of surface equipment during drilling operations that led to a loss of well control. The well continues to burn and the rig has partially collapsed. At this time, the company cannot estimate how long the fire will continue.

Chevron has contracted with and is mobilizing the Transocean rig Baltic to commence drilling a relief well. Chevron said the time required to complete the relief well is uncertain, but could extend for some period. Chevron is deploying additional drilling experts and well control specialists to Nigeria to assist with well control efforts and the relief drilling process.

A small sheen is visible in close proximity to the well, which the company continues to evaluate. The sheen is estimated at approximately 13 barrels. Production from Chevron s North Apoi platform remains shut in since it is situated in close proximity to the incident. Total production from the platform was approximately 2,000 barrels per day.

CNL owns a 40 percent interest in the well and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation has a 60 percent interest.

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