Agip to develop Okpono, Okono fields

ENI SPA unit Agip Energy & Natural Resources has agreed to develop an oil prospecting lease owned by the Nigerian Petroleum Development Co. (NPDC), a subsidiary of the state-run Nigerian National Petroleum Corp.


ABUJA�ENI SPA unit Agip Energy & Natural Resources has agreed to develop an oil prospecting lease owned by the Nigerian Petroleum Development Co., a subsidiary of the state-run Nigerian National Petroleum Corp., according to an NNPC official.

Last December, NNPC invited national and international companies to submit tenders as NPDC's partner for the development of the two oil fields�Okpono and Okono�on Oil Prospecting License 91 off Nigeria. The two offshore oil finds were made in the late 1970s and 1980s. They are in 100 m of water.

The group managing director of the NNPC, Jackson Gaius-Obaseki, said last month that Conoco Inc. unit Conoco Energy Nigeria and Agip had been short-listed to work as possible partners on the lease. He said the two fields have estimated reserves of 2.5 billion bbl and that negotiations had reached an advanced stage.

NNPC spokesman Ndu Ughamadu, in announcing the deal here, did not disclose details of financial commitments of the two parties and the formula for sharing the crude produced, which he said were "still being worked out." He explained that, under the terms of the agreement, the development and operation of the lease would be jointly managed by NPDC and Agip, "with NPDC taking full control after 5 years." This, he said, would enhance NNPC's current efforts at capacity-building, which would eventually put the corporation at the level of other successful national oil companies.

Production from the fields is expected to start not later than 1 year after the final investment decision has been taken.

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