Consolidated Oil Limited was founded on the 2nd of August 1984. The name was later changed and registered as Conoil Producing Limited on 12th March 2002 to reflect a new business orientation. It is an integrated upstream oil and gas company and is owned by one of Nigeria’s leading business moguls; Dr. Mike Adenuga (Jnr). The company operates six blocks in the Niger Delta and holds 25 percent equity in the Joint Development Zone (JDZ) Block 4 clearly making the company one of the most active Nigerian independents.
Oil Prospecting License (OPL) 113 was initially awarded to Conoil in 1990. Exploration and production activities resulted in the discovery of the Bella field in 1991, as well as the Ebisan field in late 1996. The licence was subsequently converted to OML 103 in 1993. Prior to the development of the Bella field, a total of 11 wells had been drilled in the block. As at December 2009, Bella field had produced 13.36 million barrels of oil (mmbbls), out of the originally estimated recoverable 13.30mmbbls and Ebisan field had produced 5.18 mmbbls of oil, out of the originally estimated ultimate recoverable 5.30 mmbbls. OML 103 has a Mobile Offshore Production Unit named ‘MR P’ which has a daily oil production output of about 1,500 barrels per day (bpd) but has the capacity to produce about 12,000 bpd.
OML 59 which covers offshore Akassa Local Government in Bayelsa State, was awarded to Continental Oil & Gas Limited in June 1998, but is operated by Conoil under a joint venture arrangement. Exploration and production culminated in the development of the Otuo North and South fields in Bayelsa, and the discovery of Obra Field in 2005. The Obra field discovery came on stream in the second quarter of 2007. A total of 29 wells have been drilled in the block, 25 of which were completed in 23 reservoirs of the three fields. OML 59 has a Mobile Offshore Production Unit named ‘Auntie Julie’ which was inaugurated in May, 1999 and has a daily production output of about 25,000 bpd but has the capacity to produce 80,000 bpd. In 2012 the new build swamp barge Majestic drilled through over 150 feet of suspected hydrocarbon column in Ango-1, a new field wildcat located 30km north east of Otuo South field, in OML 59, in the southwestern Niger Delta basin. Conoil has currently moved the HTHP swamp barge Majestic to Ango-2, to appraise the deep oil zones it tested in Ango-1 Sidetrack 3 and even probe deeper. Ango-2 is prognosed to drill to a total depth (TD) of 18,500ft (or 5639metres) True Vertical Depth (TVD), meaning that it still wants to probe the reservoirs it could not reach, due to tough drilling conditions, in the discovery wells.
OPL 458 (now OML 136) was awarded to Consolidated Oil Limited in 1991 and was converted to OML 136 in November 2007. The company drilled three exploration wells between 1999 and 2000. Two were successful, whilst one was abandoned. TOTAL had a farm-in into the asset for a 40 percent interest in April 2007. It is expected that gas in OML 136 will reach the market by 2017, which is when the Brass LNG project is scheduled to come on line. A crucial reason for the farm in by TOTAL of this gas prone acreage is for Conoil to piggy back the French multinational giant so as to effectively monetize the assets.
OPL 2007, an on-shore block in Warri South Local Government Area of Delta State, was awarded to Continental Oil and Gas in May, 2007 and a PSC contract was signed with NNPC on 17th October, 2008. The area consists of a swampy terrain. There are field development concepts under evaluation and the five existing fields are named Obodo, Okpoko, Upomami, Aghigho and Ekokor. A total of 143 wells were drilled in the five fields prior to community disturbances leading to production stoppage in 2003. The rig Imperial is currently on its way to Ekokor to increase drilling and probe deeper for more possible reserves in the field. Previous concessionaires of this block are Elf / NNPC JV.
OPL 290 is another asset which Conoil operates 100 percent under the production sharing contract arrangement. Elf / NNPC/NPDC JV are previous concessionaires. Exploration is ongoing in the acreage and subsurface evaluation identified five leads in addition to three existing discoveries of Mboutidem (oil / gas), Isantim (oil) and Uwana (gas). Conoil, is currently doing some further drilling to the Mbuotidem Deep1x in OPL 290, located in shallow offshore waters with the Jack Up Oritsemehin, owned by Seawolf. The current depth of the well is about 12,100ft (or 3688metres) TVD. The Mbuotidem well has experienced some pressure challenges, leading to several incidents of stuck pipe. Wells drilled in the vicinity have not gone deeper than 9,000feet on average.
OPL 257 is another block, which will be developed under the production sharing contract arrangement with Conoil as the operator holding 50 percent equity, Total 40 percent and New Tigerhead PSTI Limited 10 percent. Exploration is ongoing there.
JDZ Block 4 is an OPL and is being developed under PSC arrangement. The ownership is thus: Addax 45.5 percent (operator), Conoil 25 per cent, and ERHC 19.5 percent.
A sour note for the company is missing out on OML 30 which is said to have a daily production capacity in excess of 40,000 barrels and reputed to be one of Shell’s most prolific onshore blocks in western Niger Delta. Efforts by Conoil to acquire the block were thwarted following the decision by the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC), the exploration and production subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), to assume operatorship of the block.