2015 APPEX - Pushing Exploration Boundaries in the Heartland Niger Delta

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)

Fidel Onichabor from Seplat Petroleum Development Co. who is a featured speaker at the 2015 APPEX Regional Conference in November at Nice, France. His talk will discuss the enormous potential of the onshore Niger Delta as discovered in recent integrated regional evaluation efforts.

Fidel Onichabor, Seplat Petroleum Development Co.

Fidel Onichabor is an E&P professional with over 33 years experience in the Oil and gas industry. He is the General Manager Technical of Seplat Petroleum Development Company Nigeria. Fidel spent 27 years with Shell where he held several technical leadership positions in Exploration function working both in Nigeria and overseas. Following his time at Shell, he spent 2 years in Sahara Energy Fields Ltd Nigeria as General Manager Exploration.

He is a renowned explorer recognised in the industry for his creative acumen in developing successful new play concepts. Some of these include his re-evaluation of the deep play prospectivity in the Niger Delta in 2005, following the disappointing result of Shell Nigeria previous deep drilling campaign in the 1990’s. The result of the study revitalised the deep play concept and led to the major gas discovery in Kolo Creek deep in 2006. This discovery has warranted the ongoing Shell deep drilling campaign.

He is also credited with the development of new stratigraphic play in Shell Malaysia. This led to significant discovery of the South furious turbidite field in Sabah and brought on stream 2 years after discovery in 2001. For this contribution, he was honoured with the Shell Malaysia Excellence Award.

In SEPLAT as the pioneer Head of the Asset Development team, he quickly settled in and established the highly motivated and competent subsurface evaluation team, that formed the bedrock of the Company’s remarkable growth. His team apart from other achievements, is credited for increasing production from 14,000 bopd at inception to the current level of about 80,000 bopd.

In 2014, Fidel was promoted to the position of General Manager Technical of Seplat. In this position he is responsible for the Corporate Engineering/Capital projects, Drilling/Completions, Development and Exploration functions.

Fidel has published several key technical papers and presented some at international conferences including AAPG annual conventions.

Abstract: "Pushing Exploration Boundaries in the Heartland Niger Delta"

The Niger delta one of the prolific petroleum provinces in the world, has been exploited for hydrocarbons for over 50 years. In this period over 1,400 exploration wells have been drilled in the basin. These earlier exploration efforts resulted in total discovery close to 100 billion barrels of oil equivalent in several fields. The delta has seemingly begun to exhibit attributes of a mature basin, as bulk of the hydrocarbon exploitation is currently restricted to the hydrostatic and mildly overpressured reservoirs, encompassed at depths shallower than 15,000 ftss.

However, recent integrated regional evaluations indicate that the Niger delta still has enormous potential in the challenging high pressure (HP) deeper plays. Wood Mackenzie publication (2012) also showed that the basin is yet to reach its full potential. Many major IOC’s and some independents are strengthening their efforts to unleash the potential of this new play largely located below current fields.

The play is characterized by higher formation pressures that sometimes pose drilling challenge in terms of operations and cost. Additional challenge is the suboptimal seismic imaging of the play.

View the technical program.

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