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Vanguard (Nigeria): Shell drills more wells to boost gas supply

Posted to the Web: Monday, June 19, 2006

The Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) has drilled two additional gas wells in a bid to boost local supply of gas. The drilling project commenced in June  last year and was completed early this year, according to the latest edition of the Shell Bulletin, made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on  Thursday. Gas drilled from the wells, called “Utorogu-32” and“Utorogu-33” are supplied through the Nigerian Gas Company (NGC) for various local uses, including  generation of electricity.

Another well, Soku-38 has also been completed and it now supplies gas to the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) company in Bonny, Rivers State for export.  The senior opportunity development leader of Shell, Mr Segun Owolabi, described the drilling of the wells as a product of effective collaboration between the  Opportunity Development Centre (ODC) in Port Harcourt and the Wells Delivery Land Area, based in Warri.
He said the wells were identified through studies conducted by the ODC team, which subsequently went to work on the project.

“The key to the success story lies in the quality technical planning and execution of effective team cooperation,’’ Owolabi stated, noting that gas from the wells had  increased the quantity delivered to power stations in the country. According to him, building the wells posed serious technical challenges because of their location  among a cluster of nine other wells.

The team leader of West Well Operations of Shell, Mr Eno Omini, said that careful planning was adopted because of the sensitive nature of the area where the wells  were located.

He said that constructing “Utorogu-33” was particularly challenging, following a discovery that the top part of the hole was collapsing frequently.
“We solved the problem through an innovative way of using a pipe to secure the well,” Omini said, explaining that both wells were particularly deep and that getting  readings from them were difficult.

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