Chevron won interests in Block 250, where it will serve as operator, and in Block 214, which will be operated by ExxonMobil. Further announcements by the Nigerian government outlining the percentage interests awarded to participants are expected soon.
"We are delighted to be awarded these deepwater tracts, and we are deeply appreciative of the trust the government of Nigeria continues to place in Chevron's ability to operate safely and efficiently," said Peter Robertson, president of Chevron Overseas Petroleum Inc. "We saw Block 250 as the prize in this licensing round.
"Acquisition of these deepwater tracts is perfectly aligned with our intent to enhance our West African deep-water portfolio, and further demonstrates Chevron's long-term commitment to Nigeria," Robertson added.
"We've been active in Nigeria for more than forty years -- not merely growing our business, but also being a vital contributor to Nigeria's continuing economic growth and social development."
The two new deepwater tracts cover over one million acres. The oil prospecting licenses are awarded for a 10-year exploration term. The Nigerian National Petroleum Corp. and the designated operators are expected to finalize production-sharing contracts for the new leases within the next three months.
The awards were made following evaluation of bids submitted through an open tendering process that started last June. Chevron submitted a detailed development program, and that, combined with the company's record of successes and its technical expertise were key in consideration of the final awards.
Chevron's proposals comprised a number of components including financial obligations as well as commitments to its local communities, and outlined a structure for Chevron's continued and expanded investment support of Nigeria's social and national strategic programs.
"We are very pleased to have secured a major position in what we believe is one of the most exciting exploration plays in the world," said Ray Wilcox, managing director of Chevron's Nigeria business unit. "These new deepwater tracts lie in close proximity to the Bonga discovery in OPL 212 and to the Agbami discovery in OPL 216. We're looking forward to applying our state-of-the-art deepwater technology and our exploration expertise to this highly prospective area," he added.
Wilcox noted that Chevron currently produces 445,000 barrels per day in Nigeria and has recently announced an expansion of the Escravos gas plant and a new gas-to-liquids plant.
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