Four firms search for more oil in Lagos

THE PUNCH Newspaper- Stanley Opara

Four companies are currently prospecting for oil in separate oil blocks in Lagos following the discovery of crude in the Aje oil field (Oil Mining Lease 113), owned by Yinka Folawiyo Petroleum.

Our correspondent gathered on Monday that the companies currently prospecting for oil in the state are Oil World, Sunlink, Optimum and James Petroleum. They prospecting for oil on Oil Prospecting Lease 241, 311, 310 and 302 respectively.

The companies, our correspondent also learnt, were currently at the exploration stage.

Responding to enquiries from our correspondent, the Department of Petroleum Resources said through its spokesperson, Mrs. Belema Osibodu, “With regard to other prospects in Lagos, the following are some of the companies operating within the Lagos area: OPL 241, Oil World; OPL 311, Sunlink; OPL 310, Optimum; and OPL 302, James Petroleum.

“However, these oil blocks will be ratified or determined by the National Boundary Commission in collaboration with the Office of the Surveyor-General of the Federation, which are charged with the determination of the actual ownership of resources in oil blocks.”

With this, the number of oil blocks in Lagos is now five, thus raising the prospect of the state joining the league of oil producing states soon.

On the Aje oil field, DPR said the project started with Chevron/Texaco as the initial technical and financial partner, but pulled out later.

Our correspondent, however, gathered that First Hydrocarbon Resources and EER had replaced Chevron/Texaco.

“So far, DPR is still in the process of formalising this transfer. The prospects of first oil would depend on the availability of drilling rigs, and the construction and installation of production and export facilities. Efforts are being made by the stakeholders to achieve first oil in record time,” Osibodu said.

Some geologists had said there were strong indications that Lagos State would record more oil and gas discoveries in the next two to three years.

The geologists had told our correspondent on Thursday that the state had all the elements of a petroleum system, giving high possibilities for more discoveries aside from that of the Aje field.

The past President, Nigerian Association of Petroleum Explorationists, Mr. Mayowa Afe, had said that there was strong presence of bitumen along the Dahomey Basin, the onshore parts on the coastal plains of southwest Nigeria, Benin and Togo.

Afe said the extent of progress was strongly dependent on the development of the wells that had been discovered and their prospects.

According to him, the presence of features such as soft rocks (shale and other organic contents), reservoir rocks (fine stones) and cap rocks are strong signs of hydrocarbon presence.

“Lagos is a potential oil producing state. This will become very obvious when we have multiple wells. In fact, in the next two to three years, the state will be an oil producing state,” he added.

In the same vein, the Chief Executive Officer, Begeconek Nigeria Limited, Mr. Biodun Adesanya, said there were possibilities of more hydrocarbon discoveries in Lagos State.

Adesanya said chances had not been exhausted, and for the fact that oil was spotted at Aje field along the Benin Basin, it was possible that more discoveries would be made east or west of the field.

“More exploration has to be done. They have not done much. There is the need to invest in more seismic data collection,” he told our correspondent.

By 2014, oil is expected to be produced for the first time in Lagos from the Aje gas and condensate field, which lies in OML 113 in the Benin Basin.

The field is currently in the development planning stage with first production expected in 2014, according to the United States Energy Information Administration’s website.

The Aje field is expected to reach a plateau production of between 50,000 and 80,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day. The water depth in the region is 3,000 feet.

The OML 113 licence covers an area of 960 square kilometres and contains several prospects, including the Jubilee and Tweneboa fields.


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