The Nigerian bitumen belt is currently receiving a great deal of attention from Nigerian economists. This is because the federal government of Nigeria is placing a greater emphasis on the diversification of the country's economy. The economic policies are focusing less on the dominant conventional oil in the Niger Delta and more on agriculture, tourism, entertainment, infrastructure development, and industrial and solid mineral production. Development of the latter is currently governed by the Nigerian Minerals and Mining Act of 2007 (NMMA 2007). For development purposes, bitumen is classified as one of the solid minerals under the act (NMMA 2007). In this regard, we proposed and performed an economic study of a more-manageable small-scale 1,000 B/D in-situ bitumen-extraction project assuming modularized, “cookie-cutter” steam-assisted-gravity-drainage (SAGD) development technology by use of NMMA (2007) fiscal terms. Under the current deflationary conditions in the upstream sector of the oil and gas industry, such a small-scale in-situ project could be started with an initial capital expenditure of fewer than USD 25 million. In this paper, we discuss the Nigerian bitumen belt and resource potential within the belt. Previous works on the economics of Nigerian bitumen development, market opportunity for bitumen in road construction, and discussion on environmental footprints are also presented. These are then followed by economic evaluation and analysis of a small-scale 1,000 B/D in-situ SAGD project. The findings in this paper provide economic data that can be used for economic screening when considering in-situ bitumen-development investment in the Nigerian bitumen belt.

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