Chevron seeks rig to start Nigeria drilling campaign by Q2 2023

In a bid to explore more crude oil from Nigeria’s idle fields, Chevron is in the hunt for a jack-up rig to undertake drilling operations in one of its core plays in Nigeria.

The US supermajor and its joint venture partner the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC) are pre-qualifying rig owners for a drilling campaign that is due to start in the second quarter of 2023, according to Nigerian Petroleum Exchange (Nipex), an electronic one-stop transaction centre, which improves on value procurement in Nigeria’s oil and gas industry.

According to documentation, the charter contract would run for a fixed term of two years, with a one-year extension option.

“Interested bidders shall comply with the provisions of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act 2010 (NOGICD Act) enacted by the Federal Government of Nigeria in April 2010,” says Nipex.

It noted that bidders that do not meet the Nigerian Content criterion will not be allowed to participate in the next tender stage.

“In line with the relevant provisions of the NOGICD Act, 2010 and the NCDMB-approved rig utilization strategy, bidders shall demonstrate substantial evidence of utilization and Nigerian-ownership of jack-up rig or Nigerian-equity acquisition within the nominated jack-up rig or any other drilling rigs (land/swamp etc.),” Nipex’s document said.

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A jack-up rig is a mobile floating installation that acts as a fixed installation during well activity because it is placed on the seabed with steel legs that can be jacked up and down.

Chevron says first considerations shall be given to vendor where the bidding entity (supported by verifiable evidence) proposes to deploy and utilize for the service a nominated Nigerian-owned jack up rig.

Another criteria listed for first consideration includes “submission of documented plan by the bidding entity with cash flow analysis approved by a reputable Nigerian lending institution/bank) demonstrating at the start of contract planned acquisition of 10 percent Nigerian equity ownership of the nominated drilling rig to be deployed”.

Oyinkepreye Orodu, head of department, Petroleum Engineering at Covenant University, said Nigeria could gauge the prospect of an increase in future production and the level of current investment in the sector with the rig number.

“The oil rig number reflects or signifies ongoing exploration activities, and field development scenarios which may involve various good intervention schemes to boost production or drilling new infill wells to further improve oil recovery,” he said.

Nigeria, one of Africa’s biggest oil producing country has at least eight functional oil drilling rigs in October as against seven in the previous month, according to OPEC.

The addition in Nigeria’s functional rig in October paid out, in terms of the country’s oil output last month, when compared to what was obtained in the preceding months.

According to the OPEC report, Nigeria’s oil output increased by 77,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 1.014 million bpd, based on direct communication.