Nigeria to Hold Regular Licensing Rounds Beginning in 2005

Nigeria would like to maintain growth in its booming oil sector with regular exploration licensing rounds starting next year. The country's last licensing round was held in 2000.

"It is the intention of the government to conduct bidding rounds on a more regular basis, the next being aimed at first half 2005," said President Olusegun Obasanjo in a speech to an industry conference delivered by his adviser on petroleum and energy Edmund Daukoru.

Nigeria's output, which rarely exceeded two million barrels per day (bpd) in the 1990s, surpassed 2.5 million bpd for the first time in the country's history in February and is heading for four million by 2010.