Nigeria upbeat about oil prospects

May 9, 2013 at 8:29 AM

HOUSTON, May 9 (UPI) -- Programs by Exxon Mobil and Total are expected to contribute significantly to Nigerian oil production, the petroleum minister said at a Texas energy conference.

Nigerian Petroleum Minister Diezani Alison-Madueke called for international support to help stop saboteurs and vandals responsible for the loss of about 150,000 barrels of oil per day, Nigerian newspaper ThisDay reports.

The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta attacked oil installations belonging to Royal Dutch Shell last month. MEND spokesman Jomo Gbomo, in a statement emailed to Bloomberg News, said a new campaign would begin May 31 to "save Christianity in Nigeria."

Alison-Madueke said during a Houston energy conference, however, that the Erha North project from Exxon and Total's Egina should add to national oil output.

"Expectation is that both projects, when completed in the 2015-2016 timeframe, will deliver additional 350,000 bpd," she was quoted as saying.

Nigeria is the No. 7 oil producer among the 12-member Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. OPEC said Nigerian oil production fell last year from its 2.1 million-barrel-per-day average for 2011.

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