MONDAY, 19 JULY 2010 BY ROSELINE OKERE
TOTAL has acquired Chevron’s 45.9 per cent interest in block ‘one’ in the Joint Development Zone (JDZ).The Nigeria – São Tomé and Príncipe Joint Development Authority is an organisation established by treaty that regulates the two countries’ Joint Development Zone in the Bight of Benin. The Zone is along the maritime Nigeria – São Tomé and Príncipe border.
Essentially, JDZ is an area in Nigeria – São Tomé and Príncipe boundary region that is speculated to be rich in oil and gas reserves. Because neither country could have explored the resources in the zone without interfering with the maritime territory of the other, the countries agreed in a treaty to create a joint development authority that would assist both countries in benefiting from the economic potential of the zone.
Under this arrangement, Total will operate the block in partnership with Addax Petroleum JDZ One Limited, Dangote Energy Equity Resources and Sasol Exploration and Production Nigeria Limited.The JDZ is governed by a treaty signed by Nigeria and Sao Tomé and Principe in 2001 for a period of 45 years. This transaction is subject to approval by relevant authorities.A statement signed by the Manager, External Communication, Total E&P Nigeria Limited, Mr. Fred Ohwahwa at the weekend, stated that the licence extends to 700 square kilometres in water depths, ranging from 1,600 to 1,800 meters.
“Within this licence, a discovery was made in 2006 (Obo-1 well). The proximity of the Total-operated licenses and facilities in Nigeria will enable cost reductions in developing the licence’s resources.”This acquisition, the statement hinted, is in line with Total’s strategy of expanding its exploration and production operations in the Gulf of Guinea.In 2009, Total’s equity production in Africa averaged close to 750,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (including that of unconsolidated subsidiaries), accounting for 33 per cent of the group’s total production.
Africa is one of Total’s main production growth focuses. Most of its exploration and production operations are located in Gulf of Guinea countries — especially Nigeria and Angola — and in North Africa.Deepwater developments are one of Total’s main growth areas in Africa. Development of the Group’s second deep offshore project in Nigeria, in the Usan field on the OML 138 permit, began in early 2008, with production scheduled to start up in 2012. Also in Nigeria, front-end engineering and design (FEED) for the Egina field in OML 130, near Akpo, is underway.