Total to discuss new oil licences with Nigeria government

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TOTAL Group Chairman Patrick Pouyanne on Friday said the company is ready to discuss the acquisition of new oil licences with the Nigerian government.

Pouyanne spoke during a visit with other Nigeria business partners to Nigeria’s state for petroleum resources minister Timipre Sylva in Abuja.

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In a statement by Sylva’s spokesman Garba Muhammad, Pouyanne stated that “Nigeria has a big potential that has not been fully explored and we (TOTAL) are ready to open discussions for new licenses”.

The TOTAL Group chairman said it is imperative to have conversations that will ensure a rewarding investment structure.

To show the company’s commitment, Pouyanne said TOTAL Group will reinvest proceeds from its businesses in Nigeria.

Already a number of multinational companies have left Nigeria since 2016 over low turnover on business investments.

In August 2016, Dockworkers Union of Nigeria (DUN) lamented that over 3,000 workers were laid off by various shipping companies, terminal operators and logistic companies, owing to lack of financing and poor import policies of the Federal Government.

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The workers also blamed the massive retrenchment on the inability of the Federal Government to meet its joint venture obligation with the international oil companies which are major partners with the marine logistic companies.

Some of the companies that have already made an exit include Mitsui O.S.K Line, Nippon Yusen Kasha, Taiwan’s Evergreen Line, Messina Line, Hapag-Lloyd and Gold Star Line (GSL), among others which were forced to withdraw from the West Africa route due to growing losses as a result of declining volumes.

Nigeria’s state for petroleum resources, however, speak on the oil licenses request raised by Pouyanne but said the “the Nigerian Government will do everything to encourage the further stay of TOTAL.”

Sylva said TOTAL remains an important partner in Nigeria’s Oil and Gas landscape while name-checking the Group’s Nigerian content achievement with the Egina field with a production of about 200,000 barrels of oil per day, representing over 10% of Nigeria’s production, at the plateau.

He further applauded TOTAL for the notable investment in the Downstream Sector and recent strides in the Solar Energy business.

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Sylva after the meeting led the group to see Nigeria President Muhammadu Buhari, who departed the country to a gas summit in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea.

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