FG targets fresh $20bn oil, gas deal

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By Emmanuella Anokam

Sen. Heineken Lokpobiri, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Oil), says the Federal Government is set to seal a deal worth 20 billion dollars to boost oil and gas production in Nigeria.

Lokpobiri said this on Thursday in Abuja when a delegation of Schlumberger (SLB) Ltd. led by its global Chief Executive Officer, Mr Olivier Le Peuch, paid him a courtesy visit.

Lokpobiri said no investment had taken place in Nigeria for some years, hence the downward trend in production.

But he assured that the country was set to receive investments of over 20 billion dollars, with one company alone accounting for 10 billion dollars.

He said one of the cardinal objectives of President Bola Tinubu was to unlock the potential in the oil and gas sector to harness the benefits of huge deposits.

“We are talking to a lot of the big investors who have always invested big in the country.

“And I am not going to tell you the details now, because it’s something I want to announce when the deal is finally consummated,” he said.

Lokpobiri explained that the Federal Government was committed to creating an enabling environment for investors to tap into the business opportunities inherent in the country.

He assured that the Tinubu administration was focusing on creating the best environment for investments to return for the benefit of Nigerians, and also for the benefit of those companies that have always invested in the country.

“We’ll bring not only Schlumberger, where the pie is so big, the opportunities are so big, that not only Schlumberger can do it.

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“We want to use this opportunity to call on the other international service companies to also come back; there is a new sheriff in town that is determined to do things differently,” he said.

He further said the partnership with Schlumberger was significant having made impact in Nigeria’s oil and gas industry in the last 71 years.

He added that the company’s visit to Nigeria was a testament to the fact that confidence was coming back to unlock the potential in the oil and gas sector.

“As a government, we want to continue with this 71-year marriage. If you are married to a woman for 71 years, you’ve taken all the good parts of her life. So, you can’t divorce her and allow her to die.

“Our journey for the past 70 years, from 1958 when oil was found in commercial quantity in Oloibiri in the Niger Delta, SLB has played a very strategic role.

“So, our own, you know, as government of Nigeria, is to ensure that we create the beast environments, not only competitive, but best environment that you can invest in.

“I can assure you that all these things we discussed will be given the most serious attention. And we’ll do whatever we can to ensure that we create that environment.” he added.

Earlier, Le Peuch, on his part expressed optimism working with Nigeria to boost oil and gas investment while unlocking the performance of the oil and gas industry in the country.

Le Peuch further assured of his commitment to strengthen the relationship and partnership with Nigeria to pave way for greater success in Nigeria.

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“We are ready to work with you as partners, we are ready to contribute to the change that you are willing to put in place, to facilitate a newborn era for oil and gas investment into the country,” he said. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)

Edited by Salif Atojoko

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