Bloomberg News

Nigeria to Sign Three Oil-Lease Renewals for Exxon Mobil

February 21, 2012

(Updates with minister’s comments in second paragraph.)

Feb. 21 (Bloomberg) -- Nigeria, Africa’s biggest crude producer, said three oil-producing licenses operated by Exxon Mobil Corp. will be renewed tomorrow as it concludes a review of expired or soon to lapse leases.

“We will be signing off on the renewals of the three joint-venture leases operated by Mobil Producing Co. of Nigeria,” Petroleum Minister Diezani Alison-Madueke said today in the capital Abuja. “We expect that all others will follow.”

Oil leases 67, 68 and 70, which together produce 580,000 barrels of crude a day, were nullified by the minister in March, Lagos-based ThisDay reported in May. Negotiations for 16 oil blocks operated by companies including Exxon Mobil, Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Chevron Corp. have been under way for two years.

The West African country will present a draft bill for the regulation of the country’s oil industry to the parliament within six weeks, Alison-Madueke said.

Nigeria is the fifth-biggest source of U.S. crude imports. Shell, Exxon Mobil, Chevron, Total SA and Eni SpA operate joint ventures with the state-owned Nigerian National Petroleum Corp. that pump about 90 percent of the country’s crude.

--Editors: Raj Rajendran, Matthew Brown.

To contact the reporter on this story: Elisha Bala-Gbogbo in Abuja at ebalagbogbo@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dulue Mbachu at dmbachu@bloomberg.net


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