Chevron delays phase 3B of Escravos gas plant

24 February 2012, Sweetcrude, HOUSTON – US oil mega-firm, Chevron Corporation, has pushed back the expansion of its Escravos Gas Plant Phase 3B project in Nigeria, originally slated for this year, by another three years, according to its annual report.

The report, which revealed the company was exploring for shale gas in China, said the natural gas processing plant in Nigeria is now due in 2016.

The Escravos Gas Plant Phase 3B is designed to gather 120 million cubic feet of natural gas per day from eight offshore fields and then compress and transport it to onshore facilities. It had already been delayed by a year.

Phase 3A will feed an $8.4 billion gas-to-liquids plant nearby when that starts up next year, having itself been delayed for three years and seen its estimated cost more than double.

Construction continued on Phase 3B last year, Chevron said, and the project is now expected to be completed in 2016.

A California-based spokesman confirmed the new target date, but was not able to comment further on Thursday, according to Reuters report.

Apart from Nigeria, Chevron has a busy 2012 planned for Africa, which accounts for more than one-sixth of its output.

Off Angola’s coast, it expects a final investment decision (FID) next quarter on Mafumeira Sul, expected to produce up to 110,000 barrels per day of crude.

Later this year, it expects to also reach FID on its N’Dola field and drill two exploratory wells in the Lifua field after a successful appraisal well there last July.

In offshore Republic of Congo, early engineering work is going on in the Moho Nord project in the Moho-Bilondo Development Area, and that should reach FID next year, Chevron said in the annual report.

In Asia, off the southwest coast of Vietnam, FID should also be reached this year on the Block B Gas Development, which is slated to reach maximum daily production of

The reports said, the Chuandongbei natural gas project in China will now start up in 2013 instead of this year, but Chevron also said it signed a joint study agreement to explore for shale gas in the Qiannan Basin last April, and started seismic operations to evaluate it in July.

Chevron is already exploring shale resources in Argentina, where it expects to drill two exploratory wells this year in the Vaca Muerta formation, as well as in Poland and Romania.

In Romania, where Chevron has a license to explore 1.6 million acres (647,000 hectares), a multi-well program is set to begin in late 2012, and negotiations have been held on license agreements for three blocks comprising about 670,000 more acres.

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