Noble Energy has given the go-ahead for the development of the Alen natural gas project located offshore Equatorial Guinea (EG).

The majority of the Alen field is located on Block O (95%), while a portion of the field also lies in Block I (5%). Noble Energy is the operator of the field with a working interest of around 45% in the project, which translates to 45% of Block O and 38% of Block I.

Stakeholders in Block O include Noble Energy, Glencore Exploration and GEPetrol. Block I owners include Noble Energy, Glencore, Atlas-Oranto Petroleum, Gunvor Resources and GEPetrol. The partners will invest around $330m in the development project this year and 2020.

The Alen field contains total estimated gross recoverable resources of about 600 billion cubic feet of natural gas equivalent.

“The Alen field contains total estimated gross recoverable resources of about 600 billion cubic feet of natural gas equivalent.”

The Ministry of Mines and Hydrocarbons of Equatorial Guinea has signed agreements with multiple companies to monetise gas from the Alen field. Under the terms of the agreements, natural gas from the field will be processed through Alba Plant’s liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) processing plant and EG LNG’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) production facility, both located in Punta Europa, Bioko Island.

Marathon Oil operates both the Alba Plant and the EG LNG facility. Noble Energy has a 28% working interest in the Alba Plant.

Through the tolling agreement, the country’s national gas company Sonagas will raise its ownership in the plant from 25% to 30%.

As per the Alen gas monetisation project, minor modifications will be made to the platform to enable delivery of sales gas to the Alba Plant and EG LNG facilities. Production and transportation of primary condensate to the Aseng field production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel for sales will continue.

The project partners will build a 24-inch, 70km pipeline to carry gas from the Alen platform to onshore facilities in Punta Europa. The proposed pipeline will be able to handle 950 million cubic feet of natural gas equivalent per day.

First gas from the monetisation project is anticipated in the first quarter of 2021. The project is expected to accrue revenue of $1.5bn-$2bn to the state exchequer over its lifespan.

According to the ministry the project will enable the development of Alen platform into an offshore gas hub, which is expected to spur development of ‘Alen Unit gas, other Block O and I discoveries, and, potentially, additional Gulf of Guinea gas fields’.