OML 99 operator, TotalEnergies has announced the commencement of production from the Ikike field in Nigeria, which is expected to deliver peak production of 50,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day by the end of 2022.

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According to the firm, the field production would supply the much-needed boost for Nigeria, which has faced operational problems in its upstream oil and gas sector.

Nigeria’s crude oil production averaged 1.238 million barrels per day (bpd) in June 2022, according to data from the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

TotalEnergies —which operates the field with a 40 per cent stake alongside the Nigerian National Petroleum Company, Limited (NNPC) with 60 per cent, said it expects Ikike to deliver 50,000 b/d of oil equivalent (boe/d) by the end of the year. The field is tied back to the Amenam offshore facilities through a 14km pipeline.

“By tapping discoveries close to existing facilities, this project fits the company’s strategy of focusing on low-cost and low-emission oil projects,” said Henri-Max Ndong-Nzue, senior vice-president of TotalEnergies’ upstream operations in Africa.

The start of production from Ikike will help Nigeria lift its flagging crude output, which slumped to a 17 month low of 1.26 million barrels a day in June which is 510,000 b/d below its OPEC target for the month, according to Argus estimates.
Oil theft has disrupted flows to Nigerian terminals this year. Last month, a drop in shipments of the key Qua Iboe and Forcados streams exacerbated ongoing disruption to Bonny Light exports, which have been under force majeure since mid-March.

The Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) had expressed concerns about the country’s production capacity, citing cases of deliberate shut off of oil wells and pipelines by operators who are trying to deal with theft.

According to the NUPRC, the country’s level of crude oil theft is estimated at a daily average of 108,000 barrels in 2022.