Total Starts $15 Billion Egina Offshore Nigerian Oil Project

Total SA, Europe’s third-biggest oil company, will start developing Nigeria’s offshore Egina field for $15 billion as part of a plan to boost production.

First oil from the field, which is part of the OML 130 block, is expected at the end of 2017, with output reaching 200,000 barrels of oil a day, according to a statement. A Total official said development costs will be around $15 billion.

The project can be started after Total obtained the necessary approvals from Nigeria to award the main contracts, the statement showed.

Total Chief Executive Officer Christophe de Margerie has said the explorer will use proceeds from asset sales to pay dividends and develop oil and gas projects rather than make acquisitions. The French company has also pledged to try harder to make large oil and gas discoveries in a bid to raise production.

The Egina project calls for 44 wells connected to a 330 meter-long floating production, storage and offloading vessel which can store 2.3 million barrels, Total said in today’s statement. Locally worked hours will reach about 75 percent for Egina as part of a plan to boost local content of Nigerian projects.

Total is operator of Egina with a 24 percent interest. The other partners are Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, South Atlantic Petroleum of Nigeria, Cnooc Ltd. and Petroleo Brasilero SA.