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Shell to build world-largest FPSO for Nigeria Bonga South West

Shell Bonga SW FPSO enters EPC bidding phase

2B1st_Project_Smart_Explorer_Sales_Pursuit_ToolRoyal Dutch Shell (Shell) and its partnering major companies, ExxonMobil from USA, Total from France and Eni from Italy, are entering the bidding phase on the Bonga South West floating, production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel to be moored in the Block 118 offshore Nigeria.

Covering the Blocks 118 (previously called 212), 132 and 140 in the Gulf of Guinea, Bonga oil and gas field ranks among the largest fields on the West Coast Africa requiring an exploration and development in phases.

Shell_Nigeria_Bonga_South_West_FPSO_MapLocated approximately 135 kilometers west of Port Harcourt in Nigeria, Bonga was discovered by 1,300 meters water depth in 1995 and started the first production in 2005 with a first FPSO.

In 2001, Shell and its partners discovered Bonga South West (Bonga SW) large enough to trigger a stand alone exploration – production project with an additional FPSO.

In 2004, a third field was discovered in the Block 140 branded as Bonga North or Aparo 95% owned by Chevron.

The Aparo field appeared in fact to belong to the same geological structure as Bonga South West.

Therefore Chevron had easy to join Bonga South West partners for a unitized development.

In Bonga South West Shell and its partners share the working interests in such way as:

 – Shell 55% is the operator

 – ExxonMobil 20%

 – Eni‘s subsidiary Nigeria Agip Oil Corporation (NAOC) 12.5%

 – Total 12.5%

Estimated to hold 820 million barrels of oil, Shell Bonga South West may require one of the largest FPSO ever built with topsides to weight 35,000 to 40,000 tonnes.

Shell Bonga South West FPSO critical on local content

According to the conclusions of the front end engineering and design (FEED), Shell Bonga South West FPSO should have capacities of:

 – 225,000 barrels per day (b/d) for oil processing

 – 270 million cubic feet per day (cf/d) natural gas processing 

 – 2.5 million barrels of oil storage

 – 400,000 b/d of water injection

In addition the subsea production and export system should include:

Shell_Nigeria_Bonga_South_West_FPSO – 22 production wells

 – 22 water injection wells

 – 85 kilometers pipe-in system

 – 65 kilometers umbilicals

 – 98 kilometers gas export pipeline

Shell and its partners will call for tender the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contracts for the FPSO and the subsea production and export system separately.

Regarding the FPSO, the Nigeria government is requiring to increase the local content compared with previous projects such as Egina.

This local content constraint combined with Shell technical specifications and the financial targets of the project has a big impact on the qualification of the engineering companies and shipyards for Bonga South West.

In this complex ruling context, Shell and its partners will evaluate first the technical offers in including the local content proposals to perform a first selection, then they will consider the commercial offers from the remaining bidders only.

Considering that one of the bidder is already building shipyard in Nigeria supported by a comprehensive training program for the welders and other workers, it may take a solid market leadership in view of Shell Bonga South West.

Based on this scenario, Shell and its partners ExxonMobil, Eni and Total, are expecting to make the final investment decision (FID) on the Bonga South West FPSO by the end of 2014 with the first shipment to be loaded by 2020.

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