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Nigeria's NNPC in funding deals with foreign partners to develop oil fields

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Lagos β€” Nigerian National Petroleum Corp said Thursday it had agreed new funding arrangements with four foreign partners to develop new oil fields in the Niger Delta that will substantially increase Nigerian reserves and daily production.

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The first of the deals, with US major Chevron Corp., is for development of two offshore oil blocks OMLs 91 and 91 and is expected to add 211 million barrels of oil and 1.9 Tcf of gas to Nigerian reserves, and potential output of 30,000 b/d of oil equivalent, the NNPC added.

The second agreement was signed with the Shell, Total and Eni joint venture partnership for the development of several onshore and offshore oil fields that had long been delayed due to a lack of funds.

"The deal (Project Santolina) is for an accelerated upstream production comprising of 156 development activities across 12 OMLs and 30 fields in the Niger Delta," NNPC said.

Lack of funds has been a major stumbling block for NNPC, which manages the Nigerian government's average 57% interest in joint ventures business with foreign oil companies, in its efforts to bolster Nigeria's oil output.

In June, NNPC singed a deal with indigenous company First Exploration and Production and oil service giant Schlumberger to provide $700 million to develop two shallow water fields that will add 50,000 b/d of crude to Nigeria's output.

Also last December, Nigeria negotiated a deal with NNPC partners, Shell, ExxonMobil and Chevron, for the repayment of over $6 billion debt owed to the companies for funding oil and gas projects.

NNPC group managing director Mainkanti Baru said in May alternative funding through third party financing option would be adopted to facilitate Nigeria's bid to increase crude oil reserves to 40 billion barrels and output to 4 million b/d by 2020.

--Staff, newsdesk@spglobal.com
--Edited by Jeremy Lovell, jeremy.lovell@spglobal.com