Chineme Okafor in Abuja
China has invested up to $16 billion in Nigeria’s oil industry, mostly upstream, over the last 14 years through its state oil firm, the China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC), the Executive Vice President of the company, Mr. Lu Yan Ji, said yesterday.
Ji, disclosed this when he visited the Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Mallam Mele Kyari.
He said Nigeria was one of his company’s largest investment destinations with investment outlay standing at about $16 billion.
Ji, thus called for NNPC’s support in securing the investments, adding that there was need for both national oil corporations to work closely together.
According to a statement by the Group General Manager Public Affairs of the NNPC, Mr. Ndu Ughamadu, CNOOC currently produces 800,000 barrels per day (bpd) worldwide with a target to hit 1.2 million barrels per day (mbpd).
The statement added that Nigeria was one of the targeted places to actualise this target.
It explained that CNOOC started business in Nigeria in 2005, and currently has interest in Oil Mining Lease (OML) 130 in partnership with the NNPC, Total and Petrobras.
Similarly, the NNPC said it was seeking strategic partnership and new investments in the upstream oil sector to grow the country’s crude oil reserves and the 3mbpd oil production target by 2023.
Mele Kyari said there was need to improve the nation’s revenue profile through new investments in the petroleum sector.
He commended CNOOC for its plan to expand its investment in the Nigerian petroleum industry and assured it of the corporation’s support.
“To have investment of $16 billion in Nigeria is clearly an indication of your confidence in us. We have a target to grow production to 3m barrels per day by 2023; to do that, we need partners like you. You can count on us because we have common interest,” said Mele Kyari.