Days before OPEC’s production cuts started on January 1, France’s Total had started up oil production from Nigeria’s ultra-deepwater oil field Egina, which is expected to produce 200,000 bpd at peak output.
The French supermajor began production at the Egina oil field on December 29, Total said on Wednesday. The Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) unit that was used to develop the ultra-deep Egina oil field is the largest such unit that Total has ever built, according to the French group. Total noted that the plateau production at the ultra-deepwater field would be 200,000 barrels of oil per day, which would account for some 10 percent of Nigeria’s oil production.
Nigeria, which wasn’t spared from the new OPEC/non-OPEC production cuts this time around, is expected to contribute with up to 40,000 bpd to the 800,000 bpd OPEC had pledged to cut from January, Nigerian Oil Minister Emmanuel Kachikwu told local news outlet THISDAY last month. The 40,000-bpd figure is some 2.5 percent of Nigeria’s current crude oil production of 1.7 million bpd, the minister said in the first half of December.
Following a wave of militant violence in 2016 and early 2017, Nigeria’s oil production started to recover in the latter half of 2017, when attacks on oil infrastructure subsided. According to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), the country’s oil production increased by 9 percent in 2018 compared to 2017, the NNPC Group’s Managing Director Maikanti Baru said in a statement NNPC issued on Tuesday.
Total is set to begin exports from the new ultra-deep Egina oil field offshore Nigeria as early as in February 2019, at an initial rate of just over 100,000 bpd, Bloomberg reported two weeks ago, quoting a copy of a loading program for the new grade it had seen.
The report of start of exports also comes as oil prices continue to be depressed by market fears that OPEC and partners’ cuts may not be enough to erase the oversupply, especially if fears of slowing global economic growth materialize.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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