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Nigeria Says Total Invest $20 bn in Gas, Deepwater

Source: Reuters 2/23/2010, Location: Africa

Total and its partners will invest $20 billion in deepwater oil and gas exploration in Nigeria over the next four to five years, the country's acting president and the French firm said.

Total said its share of the total investment in the four Nigerian energy projects -- offshore fields Usan, Ofon II and Egina and the upgrade of the OML 58 licence -- would be around $7 billion.

It said its partners in the investments included ExxonMobil, Chevron and Canada's Nexen for Usan, Nigerian state-run oil firm NNPC for Ofon II and OML 58, and NNPC, Sapetro, China's CNOOC and Brazil's Petrobras for Egina. "The idea is that Total is operating with partners over the long term on four projects for a total investment of around $20 billion," a spokesman at Total in Paris said.

"The long-term project is over 5 to 10 years but the investment would be made in the next 4 to 5 years, and given Total's stake in the projects the overall amount of our investment would be roughly $7 billion," he said.

The announcement of the investment plans comes as Nigeria's oil partners and the government are struggling to agree on legislation to overhaul the OPEC member's energy sector.

Industry executives warned at a conference in Abuja that the planned reforms could put billions of dollars of investment at risk, slow development of deep water reserves, and help Angola eclipse Nigeria as Africa's biggest oil producer.

Nigeria's Acting President Goodluck Jonathan said Total's head of exploration and production, Yves-Louis Darricarrere, had informed him of the planned investment during a meeting in the capital Abuja.

"Dr Jonathan said the proposed investment is an affirmation of the positive business environment in the Niger Delta brought about by the amnesty programme," Jonathan's office said in a statement.

Thousands of gunmen laid down weapons under an amnesty programme in the Niger Delta last year, the restive heartland of Africa's biggest oil and gas industry, and there have been no major attacks on oil infrastructure for more than six months.

Total's head of African exploration and production told Reuters in an interview on Monday that the French oil major saw more opportunities to develop its business in the country but gave no details.

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Related Articles: Accounting, Statistics  Acquisitions and Divestitures  Asset Portfolio Management  Economics/Financial Analysis  General  Insurance  Investment  Mergers and Acquisitions  Risk Management 


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