ChevronTexaco and Nigeria Sign Production Accord

ChevronTexaco and Nigeria will sign the first oil production accord for Nigeria's new deepsea oil blocks central to the country's plan to boost crude oil output and reserves.

The accord between ChevronTexaco and Nigerian National Petroleum Corp (NNPC) will spell out how the two sides share profits from OPL250, the most sought after of the Nigerian blocks, which was won by Chevron during competitive bidding last year.

Unlike previous joint venture accords between Nigeria and its foreign oil partners, oil companies will source for funds independently to develop deep water blocks.

"The agreement is the first such to be signed between the NNPC and any oil prospecting company since Nigeria's deepwater concessions were allocated last year via the open bid system," said a statement by the oil major.

The signing follows agreement earlier this month by oil multinationals to increase the Nigerian government's share of oil profits to 30 percent from 20 percent currently. That accord ended long negotiations that had held up work on the blocks and any new allocations since the bidding nearly a year ago.

ChevronTexaco will be operator of block 250, whose final bid price was $200 million, alongside Shell and Petrobras.