Why Bonga is such a success – SNEPCo MD

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Bonga, Nigeria’s first deep-water development has been an outstanding producer due to effective leadership, cutting-edge technology, continuous improvement, integrated delivery and collaboration with partners and stakeholders, Managing Director, Shell Nigeria Exploration and Company Limited (SNEPCo), Elohor Aiboni said on Thursday at the 2024 Offshore Technology Conference in Houston, Texas in US.

Since coming on stream in November 2005, Bonga has maintained a track record of production that saw it achieve one-billion-barrel export on February 13, last year. Aiboni reflected on the success factors that enabled the milestone in a presentation titled “The Bonga Journey to a Billion Barrels.”

“SNEPCo is grateful for the contributions of all the parties to the Bonga story and we can all be proud of the milestones,” she said. “Bonga has been consistent. In 2014, nine years after coming onstream, it achieved half a billion barrels of crude and doubled it in 2023. We have worked relentlessly to ensure excellent asset management, project and wells delivery and deployment of technology and innovations in our operations.


“These factors, Aiboni added, “coupled with the supportive partnership of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited and our co-venturers – TotalEnergies, EP Nigeria Limited; Nigerian Agip Exploration; and Esso Exploration and Production Nigeria Limited, make Bonga stand out as a world-class investment case.”

SNEPCo also enjoyed the support of the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) and the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) in the success of Bonga operations.

Aiboni spoke of the challenges of keeping the Bonga Floating Production, Storage and Offloading vessel full as the asset ages and dealing with unexpected developments with subsea wells and equipment.

“SNEPCo responded with a campaign of operational excellence, which among other initiatives, led to the creation of a programme known as the Bonga Business Improvement Plan that continually reviews and identifies improvement initiatives and drives sustainability in operations and upskilling of staff.”

The Bonga success story has been led by Nigerians who have been managing directors of SNEPCo since it was established in 1993, in a deliberate policy by Shell to develop indigenous manpower for deep-water operations in Nigeria. Today, some 97% of the SNEPCo workforce is Nigerian and overall, Bonga has helped to create a new generation of Nigerian deep-water professionals.

Aiboni added: “Our vision at SNEPCo remains to be the best deep-water business, powering growth and achieving net zero emissions in line with Shell’s Powering Progress strategy.”