Dedicated to Nigeria's socio-political issues
October 3, 2007 - December 2, 2007
On the Resource Control
Battle: From Dichotomy to Quartonomy, From Isopatials to Isobaths
Mobolaji E. Aluko, Ph.D
February 19, 2003
In the coming week or
two, just in time for the April 19 presidential and gubernatorial elections, and
after a cursory glance by the National Assembly, an Oil bill that will be
pleasing to the Niger-Delta governors will finally be signed by President
Obasanjo an Oil Bill. They will be able to tell their subjects that they have
fought a hard battle and won, therefore they should now be re-elected. This is
because in a formidable display of political casuistry, a previously-demanded
isopatial of 200 miles (from the sea coastline) for offshore 13% derivation
purposes to the littoral states has suddenly been transformed in the Niger-Delta
into an isobath of 200 meters (from the surface of the sea). Under this
compromise, the isospatial that the Obasanjo government had previously offered –
24 nautical miles from the coastal baseline, which is the outerlimit of the
contiguous zone – has become actually like 24 - 55 nautical miles in some parts
of Nigeria (in the Niger-Delta: Cross-River, Akwa-Ibom, Rivers, Bayelsa, Delta)
and practically 0 - 24 nautical miles in some other parts of Nigeria (Ondo, Ogun
and Lagos.) [See Note 1]
By going from an isospatial to an isobath, we have also gone from a simple dichotomy – land v. sea – to a quartonomy: land v. shallow water (0 – 200 m deep) v. deep water (200 m – 1,400 m deep) v. ultradeep water (greater than 1,400 m deep).
So some Niger-Deltans
are happy, while some other Nigerians who may not be much wiser, will be happy
to put pen to paper, only after which they will know what has been signed.
My claim here is that
the new bill requires a further amendment:
the phrase Continental
Shelf and Exclusive Economic zone should be replaced not simply by “contiguous
zone (24 nautical miles)” as originally suggested by Obasanjo, or by “200
meters isobaths” (which is the new compromise) but with "200 meter water
depth isobaths, or the contiguous zone (24 nautical miles from the baseline),
whichever is farther from the coastline of each littoral state."
This should satisfy
Here is why and how,
but first a quick lesson.
OIL AND GAS IN NIGERIA: A QUICK LESSON
Nigeria, 10th largest oil producer in the world, the third largest in Africa and
the most prolific oil producer in Sub-Saharan Africa, has about 250 oil and gas
fields of which some 120 fields are producing. It contains estimated proven oil
reserves of 22.5 billion barrels and produces 90 million tons per year (2
million barrels per day, 2 mmbbl/d) of crude oil, mostly from the Niger-Delta.
Present plans are to increase that daily production to 4 mmbbl/d, and reserve
amount to 40 billion barrels, all by 2010, through further prospecting, mainly
OFFSHORE. Its crude oils have a gravity between 21 deg. API and 45 deg. API.
Its main export crudes are Bonny Light (37deg. API) and Forcados (31 deg. API).
About 65% of Nigeria’s oil is above 35 deg. API with a very low sulphur
content. [See Note 2]
Nigeria also contains an estimated 124 Trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of proven
natural gas (mainly methane CH4) reserves mainly from onshore fields and the
swampy areas also of the Niger-Delta, and a recoverable amount of about 45 Tcf.
This reserve, equivalent to 12.4 trillion barrels of crude oil (about 500 times
the proven crude oil reserves), is estimated to be the 9th largest in
the world. The 1999 estimate of Natural Gas Production was 245 billion cubic
feet (Bcf). Due, mainly, to the lack of a gas infrastructure (leading to a 1999
usage estimate of only 219 Bcf), 60-75% of associated gas is flared and 12%
re-injected. Again, present plans are to eliminate all gas flaring to zero in
2004 (realistically, more like 2010). [See Notes 2, 4-7 for oil and gas
During the 1990’s Nigerias deep (200 m to 1400 m) and ultradeep (greater than 1400 m) areas in contrast to shallow waters ( 0 to 200 m) have become the focus of major exploration both for oil and gas, with encouraging success.
Nigerian economy is largely dependent on its oil sector. In 2001 for example,
with an estimate Gross Domestic Product of $40.1 billion, oil export revenues of
about $19.5 billion represented about 95% of Nigeria’s foreign exchange
earnings. Nigeria was the 5th largest crude exporter to the United
States in 2000, behind
In 1971, Nigeria joined
OPEC (currently 11 members: Algeria, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya,
Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Venezuela), and is
currently its 6th or 7th largest producer. Nigeria’s present OPEC
quota is 1.89 million bbl/d. In line with OPEC resolutions, the Nigerian
National Oil Corporation (NNOC) was established, later becoming NNPC in 1977.
The giant parastatal and its many subsidiary companies control all sectors of
the oil industry, both upstream and downstream.
All the big
multinational oil companies: Exxon-Mobil (2001 total world Revenues: $232
billiion), BP ($148
billion), TotalFinaElf ($99 billion); ChevronTexaco ($91 billion) and Royal
Dutch/Shell ($89 billion), play on Nigeria’s oil and gas fields. ENI/Agip (Agip)
is also a major player. Others include Statoil, Sun Oil, Tenneco, British Gas,
Conoco, Deminex, and Petrobas.
OF MAPS AND OIL
Take a look at the
following five maps and you will see about what I write. It will be best that
you have a good web-browser - and a color printer!
Map1 shows the main sites of ONSHORE production wells in Nigeria.
MAP 1: Major
ONSHORE oil fields in Nigeria
As you can see, out of
the 8 littoral states (Cross-River, Akwa-Ibom, Rivers, Bayelsa, Delta, Ondo,
Ogun, Lagos), these onshore fields are concentrated in three states: Rivers,
Bayelsa and Delta.
Map 2 shows off the offshore wealth of the country, complete with the oil blocks, where OPL stands for Oil Prospecting Licence and OML stands for Oil Mining Licence. (Understandably, you get OML after OPL). It also shows a number of isobaths: 500 m, 1000m and 1500 m. This means that only deep and ultradeep oil blocks are depicted here. [See Note 3]
Offshore Blocks in Nigeria (Deep and UltraDeep)
Map 3, unlike Map 2,
shows no block names, but rather several isobaths (100m, 200m, 500m, 1000,
1500m, etc.) and only seven of the many major deep/ultradeep water fields:
MAP 3: Deep water
situation map in the Niger-Delta
Next, we have Map 4,
which is the most comprehensive map of the area, but not the most current in
terms of who owns what blocks. It shows the 1000m and 2000 m isobaths, but now
depicts ALL the offshore oil fields, including those in shallow waters.
MAP 4: Comprehensive diagram of offshore oil fields in Nigeria showing 2
contour lines (1000 m and 2000 m)
The final map is Map 5,
which is a modification of an original index map of the Niger Delta showing some
4 bathymetric contour lines (200m, 2000 m, 3000m and 4000m)
In my modification, I
merely superimposed 24 nm and 200 nm isospatials:
MAP 5: 24 and
200 nautical miles (nm) isopaths superimposed on Map 4
From Map 5, one can now
see why the Niger-Delta governors are now much happier: The compromise solution
covers the very vast majority of the producing oil fields, and certainly more
than the 24 nautical miles. One also sees why Lagos, Ogun and Delta, in their
own interest, should insist on the former 24 nautical miles, because that is
largely advantageous to those states compared with the 200 meters isobars.
It is true that oil within the 200 nautical miles isospatial is the real desire of the Niger-Deltans for 13% derivation - but brothers and sisters of the Niger-Delta, please spare the rest of Nigerians a dime! With this compromise, let us keep the generosity up and the greed down – for the sake of the nation.
In light of Map 5, and
in order to be fair to all states (including Lagos, Ogun and Ondo) following all
the ongoing negotiations, the new bill requires a further amendment:
Continental Shelf and Exclusive Economic zone be replaced with "200 meter
water depth isobaths, or the contiguous zone (24 nautical miles from the
baseline), whichever is farther from the coastline of each littoral state."
Then the President
should sign the bill, so that the nation can get on with other business of
I rest my case.
nautical mile is 1850 m
(6087 feet), and is slightly longer than the ordinary map (or “statutory) mile,
used on land (which is 1609m, 5280 feet) and is the reasonable unit to use for
navigation and sea measurements. 1
Nautical mile = 1.15 statutory
mile. 1 statutory mile = 1.609 km. For our purposes in this essay, nautical
mile and statutory miles are essentially the same. Note that very sixty
nautical miles is one degree of latitude anywhere on earth or one degree of
longitude on the equator
The higher the degrees API , the lighter (less dense, thinner) is the crude oil,
and in general the more desirable, say medium gravity 30 - 40 deg. API.
However, it is the composition of the crude, not really the specific gravity,
that is the desirable issue for the production of high octane gasoline and
diesel fuel. Also the lower the sulphur, the “sweeter” (less polluting from
processing) the crude. 0.50% mass or less of sulphur is considered sweet crude;
otherwise sour (hence more cost to process sulphur removal), but not to exceed
About gas: You may see it stated that one barrel of oil is equivalent (boe) to
10,000 cubic feet (10 Mcf) of natural gas, which means that 1 mmcf is
equivalent to 100 bbls of oil, 1 bcf is equivalent to 100,000 bbls (100 mbbls)
of crude oil and 1 tcf is equivalent to 100 bn bbls of crude. [1 barrel = 42
US gallons = 0.1 cubic meters = 5.61 cubic feet].
3. Going from left to
right of Map 2, and from top to bottom of the major (awarded) blocks, we have:
Block – field name
(off-coast distance) – oil companies – reserves and/or estimated (peak)
production per day
OPL 316 – Abo – Agip/BP/ExxonMobil
– 70,000 bpd
*OPL 318 – Phillips/ChevronTexaco/Petronas
OPL 209 – Erha –
ExxonMobil – 1.2 bn bbls reserves – 210,000 bpd
*OPL 320 – Oranto and
Orandi Oil Co.
OPL 212 – Bonga (120 km
off coast) – Shell/NNPC – 600 mm bbls reserve – 225-350,000 bpd
OML 118 – Bonga SW –
Shell/NNPC – 600 mm bbls reserve
*OPL 324 - Petrobas
OPL 213 – Aparo –
*OPL 250 –
*OPL 214 – ExxonMobil/ChevronTexaco/Petronas
*OPL 242 – Obekpa Oil
OPL 216, 217 – Agbami
(70 miles off coast), Ikija-1 – ChevronTexaoco/NNPC – 1 bn bbls reserve –
200,000 bpd maximum
OPL 218 – Nnwa-2 –
Statoil – abandoned
OPL 219 – Doro, Ngolo
– Shell – 100 mm bbls reserve
OPL 220 – Chota-2 –
OPL 222 – Ukot-1 –
*OPL 244 – 200 km south
of Brass terminal – ENI/Agip/NPDC
OPL 246 – Akpo-1 –
TotalElfFina /South Atlantic Petro./Petrobas – 200 mm bbls reserve – 9,000 bpd
* awarded in December 2000; last round of
OML 70 - } Amenam/ -
ExxonMobil - } 500 mmbbls reserve – 130,000 bpd (2003)
OML 99 - } Kpono -
TotalFinaElf – }
4. The major currently
PRODUCING oil fields (onshore and offshore) are named
Nembe Creek (Shell; 950 mmbls and 1.5 tcf gas; 120,000 bbl/d),
Cawthorn Channel (Shell; 750 mmbls and 900 bcf gas; 70,000 bbl/d),
Ekulama (Shell; 50,000 bbl/d),
Jones Creek (Shell; 900 mmbls and 350 bcf gas; 30,000 bbl/d),
Forcados Yokri (Shell, 1235 mmbls and 1.1 tcf gas),
Escravos Beach (ChevronTexaco),
Meren (offshore; ChevronTexaco/NNPC; 1100 mmbls and 1.3 tcf gas; 85,000 bbl/d),
Okan (ChevronTexaco, 50,000 bbl/d),
Benin River (ChevronTexaco, 30,000 bbl/d),
Opuekeba (ChevronTexaco, , 20,000 bbl/d),
Benue River (ChevronTexaco, 15,000 bbl/d)
offshore 160,000 bbl/d),
Ubit (NNPC/Mobil; offshore; 110,000 bbl/d),
offshore; 125,000 bbl/d)
offshore110,000 bbl/d condensate, )
5. Crude Oil and Gas
Production in Nigeria
Nigerian crude oil production has averaged 2.21 million bbl/d for the first nine months of 1997. This is nearly half a million bbl/d over the country's 1.865 million bbl/d OPEC quota. Nigeria's OPEC quota will rise to 2.042 million bbl/d in 1998, as a result of the latest OPEC meeting held in late November 1997. Nigeria produced 2.05 million bbl/d in 1996, and 1.88 million bbl/d in 1995.
A JV operated by Shell
accounts for nearly half (approximately 925,000 bbl/d) of Nigeria's total oil
production. The Shell JV is composed of NNPC (55%), Shell (30%), Elf (10%) and
Agip (5%). Shell's production is divided into two regional divisions, each with
its own export terminal. The Eastern or Bonny division has production centered
in seven groups of oilfields, with the largest being Nembe (production capacity
120,000 bbl/d). The other groups are Cawthorn Channel (70,000 bbl/d), Ekulama
(50,000 bbl/d), Imo River (25,000 bbl/d), Kolo Creek (25,000 bbl/d), Adibawa
(20,000 bbl/d) and Etelelbou (20,000 bbl/d). The Western or Forcados division
has six main groups of oil fields: Estuary South Bank (40,000 bbl/d), Jones
Creek (30,000 bbl/d), Olomoro (20,000 bbl/d), Otumara (20,000 bbl/d), Sapele
(20,000 bbl/d) and Egwa (15,000 bbl/d)…….
Nigeria's second largest JV involves NNPC (60%) and Chevron (40%). Chevron's
current output is around 400,000 bbl/d from approximately 25 producing fields.
The fields are located in the Warri region of the Western Niger River Delta.
Major fields include Meren (85,000 bbl/d), Okan (50,000 bbl/d), Benin River
(30,000 bbl/d), Opuekeba (20,000 bbl/d), Benue River (15,000 bbl/d) and Mefa
(15,000 bbl/d). Crude exports are shipped from Chevron's Escravos terminal.
About two-thirds of the JV's production is offshore in shallow water. The
Chevron JV also has suffered production disruptions due to ethnic unrest,
sabotage of facilities and theft. Chevron plans to increase production capacity
to 600,000 bbl/d by 2000, but budget constraints by the NNPC may hinder
Another JV, between
NNPC (60%) and Mobil (40%), has production capacity of approximately 400,000
bbl/d of crude and an additional 110,000 bbl/d of condensate (which is excluded
from the OPEC quota). The majority of Mobil's crude production is located
offshore in the Qua (Kwa) Iboe group of fields. Major fields of the Qua Iboe
include Edop (160,000 bbl/d), Ubit (110,000 bbl/d) and Asasa (125,000 bbl/d)
which came on stream in 1996. The Edop production platform, Nigeria's largest,
has the capacity to produce 250,000 bbl/d, and it is expected to reach that
level in 2002. Production capacity is expected to reach nearly 530,000 bbl/d in
1997, which will make the Mobil JV Nigeria's second largest crude producer.
Agip-operated JV consists of nearly 30 small fields, predominantly onshore of
the central Niger River Delta, and has current production of about 150,000
bbl/d. Partners in the JV are NNPC (60%), Agip (20%) and Phillips Petroleum
Texaco is operator of five offshore fields that currently produce about 60,000
bbl/d. The crude is exported through the Pennington terminal. The NNPC holds a
60 percent interest in this JV, and Texaco and Chevron each hold 20 percent
A JV between Elf (40%) and NNPC (60%) currently produces approximately 125,000 bbl/d from 11 onshore and offshore fields. In 1996, Elf and Mobil were in dispute over operational control of an offshore field containing 500-700 million barrels of reserves and a production potential of 90,000 bbl/d. Elf, which has designated it Amenam, argues that over 80 percent of the field's reserves lie in its offshore OML 99 block. Mobil, which calls the field Kpomno, contends that the field's offshore location makes it better suited for development through its facilities.
6. New Gas Reserves
New discoveries raise
Nigeria's gas reserves
04-09-02 Fresh discoveries in Nigeria in the last two years have raised the
country's gas reserves by 18.5 tcf, according to statistics released by the NNPC
at the on going 17th World Petroleum Congress (WPC), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
The Federal Government has subsequently, promised mouth watering incentives to investors that engaged in projects that would assist in monetising the country's huge gas resources. Nigeria's current gas reserves is put at 170 tcf. The new addition came from deep offshore fields namely Bosi, located in Oil Prospecting License (OPL), with five tcf, Shell's Bonga West and South West fields, 1.0 tcf and Bonga oil field which added 7 bn cf of gas.
gas reserves also came from the Doro/Nnwa deep offshore field with 8.4 tcf,
Ngolo field with 2.4 tcf and Bolia/Chota field which added 1.0 tcf of gas. Vice
President Atiku Abubakar speaking at a dinner in honour of Nigerian delegates to
the WPC said that with this proven gas reserves and probable reserves of 250 tcf,
Nigeria was in many respect a gas province with associated oil reserves……..
Oil, Gas, Refining & Petrochemical (Plant Design & Construction) Market in
The government’s desire to increase both daily production capacity to 3 mbpd and oil reserves to 30 billion barrels by 2003 led to the decision in 1993 to invite oil companies to bid for deep-water blocks located off the continental shelf of Nigeria. A total of eighteen deep water offshore frontier blocks in water depths greater than 200m but less than 1400m were awarded to 13 companies, all under Production Sharing Contract (PSC) arrangements with the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation who are the license holder
The PSC provides for ten years exploration activities and production license period of twenty years. The Production sharing contract involves an agreement to split “profit oil” between NNPC and Operating partner during production. Profit oil being available crude oil after allocation of royalty oil, tax oil and cost oil. Royalty oil and tax oil is allocated crude oil to NNPC that will generate proceeds equal to payment of royalty and Petroleum profit tax respectively. Cost oil is allocated crude oil to operating company that will generate costs. This involves no Government funding and the operating company bears all the risk of operating cost. NNPC audits and approves all operating cost.
Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company (SNEPCO) discovered the first oil field in Nigeria deep water in 1995. Bonga field is a deep-water offshore block of 60sq.km. It lies at a distance of 120km from Nigeria shoreline approximately 4 degrees and 33 seconds North, 4 degrees and 36 seconds East. The estimated project cost is over US$2 billion. About 100 Shell Nigerian Engineers are presently in Houston learning deep-water technology. The new discovery made in south west Bonga took the total recoverable oil in the prolific field to 1.2 mbpd after an earlier drilling had yielded 600 million barrels. The FPSO for Bonga will have its topsides constructed and put on by the end of 2002 at Wallsend.
Shell’s EA field recently started production at 50,000bpd. The EA is located some 15 KM offshore south west of Warri and it's FPSO is hooked up to already installed soft yoke mooring platform.
Agbami field owned by ChevronTexaco Nigeria Limited in partnership with Famfa an indigenous company remained the only one of the 5 major discoveries in deepwater still on the drawing board. Development had been held down by conflict. . Bids would be called first quarter 2003. ChevronTexaco is surveying the local market for possible indigenous fabricators to involve as sub-contractors. The FPSO for Agbami would now include new tanks to be factored in the hull of the vessel. The production capacity on its topside is being raised by 20%. Agbami would flow up to 200,000bpd. ChevronTexaco is handling the project through its wholly owned subsidiary Star Deep water Petroleum Ltd. Development of the deep offshore field is expected to cost US$1 billion.
Esso Exploration and Production Nigeria Limited (EEPNL) a member of ExxonMobil family, has awarded the FPSO contract for the deep offshore Erha field to Bouygues Offshore a subsidiary of Saipem. The contract covers engineering, procurement, construction, towing and commissioning of the FPSO as well as the supply of anchor chains. It is scheduled to arrive mid 2005. The Erha field development is estimated will cost $2.4b
Limited will start drilling in its offshore mega field – Amenam/Kpono
preparatory to streaming the oil field by July next year. During the exercise a
total of 31 wells of depth between 4,000 to 6,800 metres will be drilled. The
fabrication of the well-head platform, their connecting bridge and the jacket
for living quarter and the well head platforms have been completed in Warri,
Delta State. Amenam/Kpono is a field straddling oil mining leases (OML) 99 and
70 operated by TotalFinaElf and ExxonMobil, respectively has reserve potentials
of 500 million barrels, and a production level of 130,000 barrels per day when
on stream. Hook up activities commenced in September 2002 and production is
expected to begin in July 2003.
Nigeria: Oil And Gas Industry - Overview
Nigerian oil production rate 1980 - 2000
Nigerian oil exports rate 1980 – 2000
Feb. 16, 2003
We Are Satisfied - S/South Parliamentary Caucus
Parliamentary Caucus of the National Assembly has expressed satisfaction with
the new bill sent to the National Assembly by President Olusegun Obasanjo. The
group, however, demanded explanations on what becomes of revenue to be derived
from the ultra deep oil exploration.
February 17, 2003
Onshore/Offshore is a settled matter -Obasanjo
From Abubakar Yakubu, in Port
part of his plan to gain the support of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)
stronghold in the South-South geopolitical zone, President Olusegun Obasanjo
said on Saturday that the controversial on- shore/offshore dichotomy issue "has
the flagging off of the Obasanjo/Atiku campaign rally which held at the
Liberation Stadium in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, the president hinted the
people of the South-South zone that he had consulted with their governors on the
controversial issue, heard their views and had made certain amendments.
said the remaining job on the amended bill rests with the National Assembly
where he had sent it for final ratification.
explained that there was need to be careful in dealing with the issue as it
affects the oneness of the country, He further explained that ratifying the bill
in its former state would rather plunge the nation into a fresh round of crisis.
Earlier in his welcome address, the host governor, Dr. Peter Odili, had implied
that the people would want to hear from the president his resolve on the issue
when he said "we believe that you know that we deserve the best that Nigeria can
Welcoming the president and all that came for the campaign, Governor Peter Odili
reminded the crowd that the presidency received the best support from the zone
during the last elections and promised that they are ready to do a repeat of
that this year.
coordinator of the party in the South-South zone, Chief Tony Anenih, assured
that just like the zone has always taken lead in the ‘business’ the party in the
zone is poised to do better, capturing all levels at the elections.
chairman of the party, Chief Audu Ogbeh, thanked the people of the zone for all
they have done to support the country in the last 40 years.
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