Nigeria budgets $2.25 billion for JV cash calls

The Nigerian government has approved $2.25 billion to be used for cash calls to fund its equity in joint venture operations with multinational oil companies this year, according to the group managing director of Nigerian National Petroleum Corp., Jackson Gaius-Obaseki.


LAGOS�The Nigerian government has approved $2.25 billion to be used for cash calls to fund its equity in joint venture operations with multinational oil companies this year, according to the group managing director of Nigerian National Petroleum Corp., Jackson Gaius-Obaseki.

The approved budget for this year shows a considerable increase over the $2 billion approved for last year.

Gaius-Obaseki also said that, beginning this month, payment of the JV cash calls will be based on the year 2000 approved budget.

He also stated that since payment of cash calls to the JV operators between January and June was based on the 1999 budget, the companies' accounts will be reconciled to determine whether refunds will be made to any of the operators.

He said the oil companies were directed to operate based on last year's budget, but a ceiling of $300 million as additional expenditure was granted for verified expenses.

Oil industry operators believe that the improvement in the JV cash call budget will boost exploration and production activities and ultimately enhance the national reserves and productivity level.

Foreign operators participating in Nigerian joint ventures include Shell Petroleum Development Co. of Nigeria Ltd., ExxonMobil Nigeria Producing Unlimited, Chevron Nigeria Ltd., Nigeria Agip Oil Co., TotalFina SA unit Elf Petroleum Nigeria Ltd., Texaco Overseas Petroleum Co. Nigeria Unlimited, and PanOcean Inc.

NNPC controls 55-60% equity in these joint ventures on behalf of the Nigerian government.

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