THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: Nigerian Pres: Oil Block Licensing To Be Held In July: “The president's comments came against the background of increasing protests by communities in oil producing regions demanding a bigger share of oil profits. Operations of oil majors including local units of Royal Dutch Shell, ChevronTexaco, have been disrupted by these protests, sometimes leading to shut-in of production.” (ShellNews.net) Posted 4 March 05
DOW JONES NEWSWIRES
LAGOS -- Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo said Wednesday he had approved guidelines for this year's oil block licensing round, which he said would held in July.
Obasanjo made the comments at a meeting with visiting president of ExxonMobil (XON), Morris Foster, in Abuja, according to a press statement issued by the state house in Abuja.
The office of the Presidential Adviser on Petroleum and Energy submitted the guidelines to the president earlier for his approval. Wednesday, an official said roadshows we start within a week.
Nigeria plans to award oil blocks located in the deep offshore, onshore, as well as the inland basin.
The Department of Petroleum Resources, regulator of the oil and gas industry, said last year it was halving some of the blocks to conform to international standards.
Obasanjo at the meeting with Foster urged oil producing companies to be show more social responsibility and commitment to Nigeria.
"This is one area where Nigerians are crying out and I believe it should not be so. Oil companies are doing this everywhere and I do not see the reason it cannot be done," the statement quoted him as saying.
ExxonMobil produces some 600,000 barrels of oil a day, all from offshore platform insulated from the conflicts in the oil-rich Niger Delta.
The president's comments came against the background of increasing protests by communities in oil producing regions demanding a bigger share of oil profits.
Operations of oil majors including local units of Royal Dutch Shell (RD, SC), ChevronTexaco (CVX), have been disrupted by these protests, sometimes leading to shut-in of production.
-By Vincent Nwanma, Dow Jones Newswires; +234-1-585-0849; email@example.com