Hydrocarbon resources in water depths greater than 7,000 feet in Nigeria have remained untapped, Chevron Nigeria Limited has said.

Speaking recently at an oil and gas conference in Lagos, the Managing Director of the company, Mr. Andrew Fawthrop stated that less than 20 wells have been drilled in this water depth in the Niger Delta.

Fawthrop said the Gulf of Mexico and the Niger Delta were petroliferous provinces with discovered resources in excess of 25 billion barrels of oil equivalent.

He noted that advances in technology and better understanding of the regional framework and depositional settings would lead the industry into exploring in ultra deep areas.

He said: “Stratigraphic plays beyond slope depositional environment are another frontier for exploration in the Niger Delta and in the near future this will be a focus.

“Though new technologies will be required, we are well positioned to succeed by tapping into the innovation and creativity that we have demonstrated over the years in the deepwater areas,” he stated.

Fawthdrop, who was represented by the company’s Executive Director, Mr. Supo Shadiya said with not many wells deeper than 12,000feet – subsea in the Niger Delta, the future exploration potential may very well lie below the top overpressure, within the deeper pre-miocene sections and in more structurally complex settings.

He added: “New imaging technology, in particular long offset Ocean Bottom Node (OBN) seismic data acquisition is providing good breakthrough in defining new plays and prospects beneath the reservoirs previously developed.”

The Chevron boss stated that the quest for deep liquid rich gas would continue to grow as new 3-Dimensional and 4-D seismic data becomes available.

According to him, in the Gulf of Mexico, companies are now exploring successfully in reservoir objectives between 18,000 feet and 25,000feet.

He acknowledged that this frontier would require expertise in imaging technology and drilling to greater temperature and pressure regimes, where decent porosities and permeabilities are preserved.

By Lily