Ofon 2: Improving the Environmental Footprint of Our Oil Facilities
When crude oil is produced from an oil field, “associated” gas is also produced. In 2014, to improve its environmental footprint, Total joined the World Bank's Zero Routine Flaring by 2030 initiative. This resulted in reduced flaring by 50% across Total’s operations between 2008 and 2015 (excluding initial start-ups), thereby significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions from its facilities. In the Ofon field in Nigeria, routine flaring ceased completely in December 2014.
A computer-generated overall view of the Ofon2 upgrade (Nigeria), which made it possible to stop the continuous flaring of associated gas on Ofon field in December 2014.
Anita George, Senior Director of the World Bank Group’s Global Practice on Energy and Extractive Industries, addresses the challenges of the World Bank's Zero Routine Flaring by 2030 initiative and Total's involvement.
The recovery of associated gas enables Total to reduce flaring on its plants. This made it possible to put an end to continuous flaring on the Ofon field.
The example of Ofon 2: A Breakthrough in Halting Routine Flaring
Since 2000, the routine flaring of associated gas has been eliminated in all Total's new exploration and production projects, and teams are going further by enhancing existing facilities, as illustrated by phase 2 of the Ofon oil field development. Located 60 km off the Nigerian coast in 40 metres of water, Ofon first came on stream in 1997. In December 2014, routine flaring was completely halted in this field. This has avoided the flaring of 1,000,000 cubic metres of gas per day (m3/d) during routine operations, which amounts to a 10% reduction in the volume of gas flared by all our Exploration & Production activities. It is a major step forward in our commitment to a better energy future.
Re-using Associated Gas to Limit Our Environmental Impact
Thanks to the improvement in the Ofon facilities, associated gas from crude oil production is now re-used in three different ways:
- it is incorporated into conventional natural gas production, helping to supply the Bonny liquefied natural gas plant. Most of the associated gas from Ofon is exported via a new 70 km pipeline to the Amenam offshore gas hub, and is then brought onshore to the Bonny plant, in the south of Nigeria;
- it improves the crude oil recovery rate in the field, as some of the gas is reused to activate oil wells using the gas lift method;
- it is used to supply the facilities themselves with electricity, a small part of the gas being used to power electricity production. The heat from exhaust gas generated by the turbines producing the electricity is also recovered and re-used in the oil processing chain on site.
Ofon phase 2 also involves the drilling of 24 new wells. Three wells have already been produced on existing sites and 21 further wells will be drilled from two new well platforms that came into service in early July 2016. Eventually, the improvements made will allow Total to unlock the value of 3 million m3 of non-flared gas per day.
At the Global Forum of the Global Gas Flaring Reduction Partnership1 (GGFR), which was held in Russia on 9 September 2015, Total’s Nigerian subsidiary received a GGFR Excellence Award, in recognition of the elimination of continuous flaring on the Ofon field.
1 The Global Gas Flaring Reduction Partnership is a World Bank initiative.