Chevron Nigeria Gas-to-Liquids Plant to Start Output in 2013

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Chevron Corp. (CVX), the world’s fourth-largest energy company, said its Nigerian Escravos gas-to-liquids plant is more than 70 percent complete and on course to start production in 2013.

The facility, which will refine natural gas to produce 33,000 barrels a day of fuels including diesel, is set “to be completed at the end of 2012,” Andrew Fawthrop, chief executive officer of the company’s Nigerian unit, said in an interview yesterday in Abuja, the capital.

Chevron holds a 75 percent interest and will operate the estimated $8.4 billion project jointly developed with the state-owned Nigeria National Petroleum Corp., he said.

Nigeria, holder of Africa’s largest gas reserves of about 187 trillion cubic feet, burns off, or flares, most of the fuel it produces along with oil because it lacks the infrastructure to process it. At least $3 billion in revenue is lost annually due to flaring, according to the Petroleum Ministry. The country flared 15.2 billion cubic meters last year, according to the World Bank’s Global Gas Flaring Reduction Partnership.

Chevron’s daily production in Nigeria averaged 524,000 barrels of crude, 206 million cubic feet (5.8 million cubic meters) of natural gas and 5,000 barrels of liquefied petroleum gas in 2010 as security improved in the oil-rich Niger River delta, according to the company.

The company holds interests in 10 deepwater oil blocks in Nigeria, including its 250,000 barrels per day Agbami field located 70 miles (113 kilometers) off the country’s coast. A 10- well development program within the next three years is expected to boost output to offset declining production in the field.

“We’re continuing the development of the Agbami field and we’re looking for new opportunities in deepwater continuously,” Fawthrop said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Elisha Bala-Gbogbo in Abuja at ebalagbogbo@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Rob Verdonck at rverdonck@bloomberg.net

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