FRENCH major Total has started up production at Clov in offshore Block 17 off Angola, in line with the initial project schedule.

The Total-operated Clov is a major deep offshore development located about 140 kilometres offshore Luanda.

With a production capacity of 160,000 barrels per day, CLOV will develop proven and probable reserves of more than 500 million barrels. After Girassol, Dalia and Pazf lor, Clov is the fourth floating production storage and off loading (FPSO) unit on Block 17.

Total exploration and production president Arnaud Breuillac said Clov was a flagship project for the company.

“It demonstrates the group’s capacity to successfully start-up projects on time and within budget while mastering cutting-edge deep offshore technologies and keeping safety and environment a top priority,” Mr Breuillac said.

“CLOV will contribute to increasing the Block 17 production to 700,000 barrels per day while also generating significant free cash f low for the group.”

As a result, Block 17 is expected to become Total’s most prolific production site, bringing the company a step closer to achieving its production potential of 3 million barrels per day by 2017.

Developing four fields, the project comprises 34 wells and eight manifolds connected by 180km of subsea pipelines to an FPSO unit at water depths of 1,100 to 1,400m.

Measuring 305 metres long and 61 metres wide, the FPSO has a storage capacity of 1.8 million barrels of oil. The gas produced on Clov will be exported via a subsea line to the onshore Angola LNG liquefaction plant.

Total operates the block with a 40 per cent interest. Its partners are Statoil (23.33%), Esso Exploration Angola (Block 17) Limited (20%) and BP (16.67%). Sonangol is the concessionaire for Block 17.