Nigeria's Oil Co, Others to Develop Six Oil Fields

State-run Nigerian National Petroleum Corp. plans to develop six oil fields off Nigeria with multinational oil companies, the chief executive said Monday.

Funsho Kupolokun, also group managing director of NNPC, said subsidiary Nigerian Petroleum Development Co. will be the operator of the fields.

The fields have a total of 457 million barrels in reserves, and will produce up to 130,000 barrels a day.

"Already we are working on the relevant agreements," Kupolokun said at the opening of a three-day international oil and gas conference in the capital.

NPDC's production currently stands at about 50,000 b/d, which is produced under operating agreements with foreign oil companies that have joint ventures in Nigeria.

The NNPC is trying to increase its production domestically and looking at developing oil fields abroad.

Kupolokun didn't disclose the companies involved in the arrangement, but a source at NNPC told Dow Jones Newswires that the parties are Royal Dutch/Shell Corp. (RD,SC) unit Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria, Eni SpA (E) unit Nigerian Agip Oil Company, ChevronTexaco Corp. (CVX), and Total SA (TOT).

Last month, NNPC launched a program aimed at raising its operations to the level of world-class national oil companies, such as Statoil of Norway.

Part of the objectives of the program is to make NNPC a viable oil producing company that can acquire and develop blocks anywhere in the world, Kupolokun said. Kupolokun had announced at the launch of the program that NNPC was already in the process of bidding for oil blocks in three African countries.