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THE SHELL PETROLEUM Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC) has begun producing oil and gas from the Gbaran-Ubie project in the Niger Delta, providing an important new source of energy for export and domestic markets.

Production was confirmed earlier this month. When fully operational next year, it will be capable of producing 1 bn scfd, equivalent to about a quarter of the gas currently produced for export and domestic use in Nigeria. It will also produce as much as 70,000 bpd. The project’s gas processing plant is now producing 200 mn scfd from the first two wells out of a planned total of 33.

“This project will deliver substantial benefits for the country,” said Mutiu Sunmonu, Managing Director of SPDC. “It will provide liquefied natural gas and oil for export and gas for electricity generation in Nigeria”.

The project, which incorporates five oil and gas fields spread over a 650 sq. km area of Bayelsa and Rivers states, has taken five years to build.

Most of the gas will go to the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas plant in Bonny to support existing export contracts. Power will be generated with gas from Gbaran-Ubie at the Bayelsa State power plant at Imiringi, as well as a new 225-megawatt power plant being built in Gbaran by the federal government.

The construction phase created almost 6,000 jobs and some 140 Nigerian companies contributed goods and services worth more than one billion dollars. In the operations phase, over 300 people will be permanently employed at the plant.