Oil interest in Nigeria strong

July 2, 2013 at 8:26 AM

LONDON, July 2 (UPI) -- Heritage Oil announced Tuesday it completed the refinancing of a loan for its ongoing operations in the Nigerian energy sector.

Heritage said its local subsidiary, Shoreline Power Co. Ltd., secured a $500 million loan executed as part of financing for oil mining lease 30 in Nigeria. Last month, the company, which has headquarters in London, said there were "temporary factors" constricting oil production, though gross production rates from oil mining lease 30 returned to more than 35,000 barrels of oil per day.

"We are very pleased to close the refinancing of existing debt facilities with long term debt," Heritage Chief Executive Officer Tony Buckingham said in a statement. "The region remains a core focus for Heritage as we continue to consider further opportunities."

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries said oil production from member state Nigeria is in decline. Heritage, however, said Nigeria has infrastructure in place to process 395,000 barrels of oil per day.

New wells planned in Nigeria for 2014 should raise the production potential to 300,000 barrels per day, the company said.

Pipeline sabotage is one of the key factors in the decline in Nigerian oil production. U.S. oil production gains, meanwhile, have robbed the country of one of its top oil consumers.

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