The Floating Production, Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessel working at Aje field offshore Lagos, the first oilfield outside the Niger Delta to produce commercial volumes of hydrocarbons, is up for sale, with its current charter contract set to expire in July.
No asking price was cited for the FPSO, however, according to marketing materials seen by Dutch based media firm, Upstream. Aje’s operator and partners are negotiating an extension to the charter, even though the unit is being actively marketed without a specific asking price on a potential “where-is, as-is” basis by marine services provider L&R Midland and Braemar ACM Shipbroking.
Dutch based-Upstream understands that’s the sale of the Rubicon Offshore-owned FPSO is seen as a firm goal, not just a test of the market waters.
According to an executive with one of Aje’s partners, the proposed sale has nothing to do with problems at the field or financial difficulties among the partners.
“It’s just a negotiation, against a very positive backdrop of strengthening gas prices,” he said.
The asset partners are considering incremental development based on additional upside crude resources as part of a phase-two scheme.
Yinka Folawiyo Petroleum Company Limited, a wholly-owned indigenous firm, is the operator of the Oil Mining Lease 113, where the field is located. Other partners are Pan Petroleum Aje Limited (a subsidiary of Panoro Energy), New Age Exploration Nigeria Limited, EER (Colobus) Nigeria Limited, and PR Oil & Gas Nigeria Limited (the holder of MX Oil’s investment in the field).
Also, recent field modelling has confirmed the case for new oil wells in Aje’s Turonian and Cenomanian formations and, based on global professional services firm RPS Group findings while partners will decide later this year on further drilling.
Drilling one new well in the Cenomanian and one horizontal sidetrack in the Turonian could increase peak oil production rates to between 8000 and 12,000 bpd.
The full development drilling scenario could boost output to 20,000 bpd of crude and 100 mmcfd of gas.
The 1990-built Marshall Islands-flagged vessel was converted to a dynamically-positioned shuttle tanker in 1994 and then to an FPSO in 2007.It has a processing capacity of 40,000 barrels per day of oil, as well as gas flaring capacity of 16 million cubic feet per day and a gas-lift compression capacity of 6 mmcfd.
After spending over two decades exploring for hydrocarbon resources off the coast of Lagos, Yinka Folawiyo Petroleum, in partnership with Panoro Energy ASA and First Hydrocarbon Nigeria (FHN) Limited, among others, had on May 3, 2016 achieved first oil on Aje field, catapulting Lagos State into the league of oil and gas producing states in the country.
The Aje field was discovered in 1996 and is 24 kilometres offshore Nigeria located on oil mining lease (OML) 113 in water depths of about 1,476 ft. Pending on-going exploration and appraisal work at oil prospecting lease (OPL) 310, the field is estimated to be one of the largest oil fields in Nigeria outside the Niger Delta basin.
Aje field is reputed as the first and only oilfield in Nigeria where exploration and appraisal activities have been undertaken solely by indigenous Nigerian companies without the direct involvement of an international oil company.