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Reuters: Shell finds new Nigerian oilfield

26 July 2007

ABUJA (Reuters) – The Nigerian arm of Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L) has made an oil discovery and a test well flowed at up to 5,000 barrels per day, the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) said on Thursday.

The discovery was made onshore in the eastern Niger Delta in Shell’s Oil Mining Licence 17. The exploration well, Aghata-1, was drilled to a total depth of 4,679 meters and encountered 245 meters of hydrocarbon bearing reservoirs.

“Aghata-1 well is a material exploration success for SPDC and Shell,” said Basil Omiyi, the managing director of SPDC, a Nigerian arm of the Anglo-Dutch oil major.

“It has the potential to immediately increase oil production in the area, and also enabling us to find other potential exploration opportunities in similar geological settings,” Omiyi was quoted as saying in a company statement.

Initial production is expected to start later this year after the completion of the production test, and studies are under way to appraise the field, devise a drilling plan and ascertain its likely longevity.

SPDC said it had signed a Memorandum of Understanding with neighboring communities, which includes provision of jobs locally, supply contracts and other benefits.

Oil companies in the Niger Delta frequently run into disputes with host communities over a perceived lack of opportunities and benefits from their presence there.

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