Total Continues to Increase Production from Amenam Field

Total's Nigerian unit, Elf Petroleum, is continuing to increase production of its new Nigerian offshore Amenam/Kpono crude to 120,000 barrels a day, Antoine Serceau, vice-president for projects and construction said Thursday.

"We're ramping up at the moment, but about the quality I'm not able to answer, " said Serceau, speaking at the first Africa Oil, Gas and Infrastructure conference in London. Total brought the Amenam/Kpono field onstream in July 2003 and began mixing it with existing Odudu crude output.

Traders have expressed some concern about the quality of the resulting blend. The field is expected to reach full capacity in the second quarter. Peak output was previously estimated at 125,000 b/d.

Total holds a 30.4% stake in the field. The other shareholders are Nigerian National Petroleum Corp. and Mobil Producing Nigeria, a unit of ExxonMobil Corp.