By Paul Ajayi
Chevron had in 2015 divested from OMLs 83 and 85 while the asset was acquired by First E&P, an indigenous firm who now operate the oilfields in a Joint Venture agreement with the Nigerian Petroleum Corporation.
It was learnt that the pipeline is to link oil wells withing the OML 85 to a Floating Storage Production and Offloading (FSPO) vessel christened Abigail Joseph deployed by the oil firm.
FSPO vessels drill, process, store and load crude from offshore oil fields eliminating the need for long pipelines to land facilities where the crude is separated from water and associated gas and sent back to the export terminals.
According to the application dated Dec. 1, 2020 the proposed 23 kilometres pipeline has a thickness of 3.7 inches and 12 inch diameter.
The application notice urged parties whose interest would be adversely affected by the proposed undersea pipeline to indicate their objections orally or in writing, to the Director-General, Bayelsa Ministry of Lands, Housing and urban development.
The statutory notice, however, stated that issues of compensation rates payable by the operator of OML 85 shall not form the basis of any objection.
The notice explained that the Ministry of Lands Housing and Urban Development shall on Jan. 12, look into the objections raised by members of the host communities surrounding the oil facility.
International Oil Companies operating in Nigeria, Shell and Chevron divested from its investments in OML 29 and OMLs 83, and 85 respectively in the shallow offshore waters to concentrate on deep offshore environment.
Aiteo Eastern and Exploration Limited another wholly indegenous oil firm in 2015 acquired OML 29 and the 97 Nembe Creek Trunkline linking Nembe fields to Bonny Oil Export Terminal, and grew production from 30,000 barrels daily to about 100,000 barrels within one year.