Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) and Eland Oil & Gas, an upstream oil and natural gas exploration company, are set to commence a five-well drilling campaign of OML 40 onshore the Niger Delta.

The development will lead to gross output of about 45,000 bpd. Reports said the partners are drilling five wells this year, with a rig going to spud two development wells on Gbetiokun beginning in June and a further two wells in Opuama.

Eland’s chief executive officer, George Maxwell said in an intelligence report that production from this asset, which borders the Gulf of Guinea and flows to Shell’s Forcados terminal, is currently running at about 26,000 barrels per day all from the Opuama field. He informed further that at the end of this drilling campaign, gross output could hit about 45,000 bpd, as Gbetiokun field is set to be exploited by an early production facility with a capacity of up to 25,000 bpd.

“In addition, an exploration well is due to be drilled on the Amobe prospect, which could house about 78 million barrels of recoverable oil,” Maxwell said. Eland’s other asset is the Ubima licence in northern Rivers State where an extended production test on the Ubima-1 discovery well is due to start at the end of June. Through its joint venture company Elcrest, Eland’s core asset is a 45% interest in OML 40, which is in the Northwest Niger Delta and a 40% interest in the Ubima Field, onshore Niger Delta, in the northern part of Rivers State.

The OML 40 license holds gross 2P reserves of 82.2 million barrels, gross 2C contingent resources of 50.7 million barrels and an estimate of 252.1 million barrels of gross un-risked prospective resource while the Ubima field holds gross 2P reserves of 9.3 million barrels of oil and gross 2C resource estimates of 4.2 million barrels.

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Following 2018’s oil production of 6.5 million barrels of oil, Eland Oil & Gas had recorded an 8% upgrade to the value of its reserves at OML 40 higher than previous estimates as the license holds proven reserves of 42.9 million barrels.

Eland Oil & Gas completed the acquisition of a 45% equity stake in OML 40 in September 2012 and has been producing oil from the Opuama field since 2014. The Gbetiokun field, which was discovered in 1987, and further appraised in the early 1990s, has never been developed. However, Eland had been prospecting this field development with a 2018 re-entry into the discovery well for data gathering and a new appraisal well.

Chibisi Ohakah, Abuja

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