Nigeria Awards Two Deepwater Blocks

Nigeria has signed joint operation accords with ExxonMobil and Phillips Petroleum in two blocks in the country's highly sought after deepwater area. ExxonMobil will be operator in OPL214 with 55 percent. Its partners ChevronTexaco and Nigerian Petroleum Development Co. will hold 30 and 15 percent respectively, according to the agreements signed in Abuja. Phillips will be operator in block 318 with 50 percent, alongside ChevronTexaco with 30 percent and the NDPC with the other 20 percent. The NDPC takes over from Petronas, which has pulled out of the blocks it won with the other partners earlier.

Nigerian Presidential Adviser on Petroleum and Energy Rilwanu Lukman said at the signing ceremony that Nigeria planned to re-offer for bidding concessions that were not taken when 22 blocks were offered more than a year ago. Eight were taken, and production accords have been signed for six of these. Lukman said accords for the other two would be signed soon, paving way for a new round of allocations.