Nigeria To Offer 22 Deepwater Blocks in Next Licensing Round

Rilwanu Lukman, OPEC President and Nigerian Presidential Adviser, announced at the World Petroleum Conference in Rio de Janeiro that Nigeria will be offering 22 new deepwater blocks in its next licensing round.

"Nigeria remains an attractive market for the discerning investor in the oil industry," said Lukman. "We are now preparing for the allocation of blocks in the Joint Development Zone, which will be done before the end of this year." Lukman said Nigeria is currently holding talks with its partners in the zone to agree on guidelines for the exercise. "There is a meeting fixed for late September or early October before we announce the bidding rounds along with the guidelines," he said.

Nigeria hopes to raise its oil reserves to 40 billion barrels and production capacity of 4 million barrels per day by 2010, up from the present levels of 32 billion barrels and 2.6 million bpd now.