Nigeria to Offer 56 Oil Blocks in Next Bidding Round

Dow Jones Newswires

SEOUL, Nov 6, 2006 (Dow Jones Newswires)

Nigeria will offer 56 crude oil blocks in its next round of bidding, Nigerian Oil Minister Edmund Daukoru said Monday.

The country will make an announcement on the blocks "very soon," Daukoru said during his visit to Seoul.

Nigeria had been expected to hold a bidding round for 60 crude oil blocks before President Olusegun Obasanjo steps down next year.

At least 10 blocks in the bidding will be allocated to preferred parties with right of first refusal, according to Nigeria-based sources.

Daukoru was visiting Seoul to sign a memorandum of understanding with South Korea on oil field developments and the modernization of a railway system in the African nation.

Under the memorandum of understanding that was signed, the South Korean government is to get rights to oil blocks under production in Nigeria in exchange for a long-term, low-interest commercial loan from South Korea that will fund a 1,500-kilometer-long railway project connecting Port Hartcourt-Abuja-Maiduguri, the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy said.

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