Key facts

Location: Gulf of Guinea, Nigeria

Depth: More than 1,000 metres

Interests: SNEPCo 55% (operator), Esso Exploration & Production Nigeria (Deepwater) Limited (20%), Total E&P Nigeria Limited (12.5%) and Nigerian Agip Exploration Limited (12.5%) under a production sharing contract with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation

Fields: Bonga North West

Peak annual production: 40 kboe/d

Key contractors: Aker Solutions, FMC Technologies, Invensys/Sidler, SAIPEM, Weltek

Project development

On August 5, 2014, SNEPCo started oil production from the first well at the Bonga North West deep-water development off the Nigerian coast. Since then, all the remaining five wells (three oil producers and two water injectors) have been completed and are now on stream, with the last well commissioned on January 18, 2015.

Oil from the Bonga North West subsea facilities is transported by a new undersea pipeline to the existing Bonga floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) export facility, from where oil is loaded onto tankers for shipping around the world.

The Bonga FPSO has been upgraded to handle the additional oil flow from Bonga North West which, at peak production, is now contributing around 40,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day, helping to maintain the facility’s overall output.


The project included upgrading the Bonga FPSO to add new chemical injection systems to prevent corrosion and freezing in the new pipelines. The 300-metre long FPSO is one of the largest of its kind in the world, held in place by 500-tonne anchors linked by 20km of mooring lines. It receives crude from production wells on the seabed. The oil is processed on board, stored and then sent to a single point mooring buoy anchored nearby from where it is loaded onto tankers for export.

Below the surface a new production module was tied into the existing infrastructure.

Environment and society

The Bonga North West project is part of Shell’s long-standing commitment to developing deep-water engineering skills in Nigeria. The investments made by SNEPCo and its other project partners in the Bonga North West project include upgrades of local contractors’ facilities and providing specialised training for Nigerians to work in the energy industry.

More than 90% of the people who designed and built the Bonga North West project were Nigerian. SNEPCo awarded all five of the major engineering and construction contracts for Bonga North West to companies that were either indigenous, have local staff, or invest in the country.

The project made use of existing infrastructure, limiting its environmental impact.

Deep-water milestones

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