Royal Dutch/Shell plans to spend $1 billion developing the 120,000 bpd shallow water EA field off Nigeria using an innovative funding scheme.
"The acreage would be developed with no investment by the government, and the private joint venture partners bearing all of the up front cost," Group Managing Director Phill Watts said
The alternative funding scheme is intended to lift the financial burden of state-run Nigerian National
Petroleum Corporation - the biggest shareholder in the joint venture operated by Shell, in which Agip and Elf-Aquitaine also hold stakes.
EA Field has reserves of 350 million barrels and is due to come onstream in the second half of 2002, producing 100 million standard cubic feet of gas per day in addition to oil, a Shell official said.
Development of EA is the second stage of Shell's $8.5 billion integrated oil and gas investment strategy for Nigeria, which also includes development of further offshore fields and expansion of the Bonny liquefied natural gas plant.
EA was discovered in 1965, but only more recent drilling technology has made its development viable, Shell officials said.