13 September 2000
Chevron and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corp. announced the launch of an initiative to convert natural gas into petroleum fuels and to significantly reduce the amount of gas being flared in their Nigerian joint venture operations.
Under the initiative, $2 billion will be invested in two projects: the Escravos Gas Project Phase 3 and the Escravos Gas to Liquids development, which are targeted for completion in 2005. President Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria and President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa were present at a special ceremony in New York to mark the official kickoff of this strategic development in Nigeria.
The Escravos gas to liquids facilities will combine technology from Sasol, a South African-based Fischer-Tropsch technology company, and Chevron, specializing in hydroprocessing technology. The projects will be built by Chevron and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corp. (NNPC) adjacent to the joint venture’s existing operations at Escravos.
The Escravos Gas Project Phase 3 will process nearly 400 million cubic feet a day of gas that is currently produced along with crude oil and then flared. The plant will extract about 15,000 barrels a day of natural gas liquids and prepare the natural gas as feedstock for the Escravos Gas to Liquids facilities, which will produce about 33,000 barrels per day of clean fuels, virtually free of sulfur, nitrogen and other pollutants. These fuels will be marketed primarily in Europe, allowing Nigeria to derive revenue from its large natural gas reserves, which are the eighth largest in the world.
The first phase of the Escravos Gas Project was commissioned in May 1997 and processes about 150 million cubic feet per day of gas for domestic and regional markets. The second phase is expected to come on stream later this year, raising the processing capacity to about 300 million cubic feet a day of gas that otherwise would be flared.
Sasol and Chevron announced in June 1999 their decision to create a global joint venture company to develop, implement and operate GTL ventures and market their products. This company would utilize the complementary skills and technologies of both partners. Formal announcement of the creation of the Global Joint Venture is expected shortly.