Patrick Pouyanne, the Chief Executive Officer of Total, a French oil and energy group, said the company will formally approve a decision to proceed with the Ikike project in Nigeria in the coming months. The oil and gas firm also to expand its liquefied natural gas (LNG) project in the country.
According to Pouyanne, “there is a huge potential in Nigeria, it is probably the most prolific country in west Africa in terms of oil and gas and it is time to launch new projects and we are working on many of them”. The CEO revealed this development at the sidelines of a meeting of Nigerian and French businesses in Paris.
The Ikike project which is located in OML 99 offshore Nigeria and designed to produce 60,000 barrels-per-day (bpd), is one of several projects the group has earmarked in the country for a final investment decision, including the 70,000 bpd deepwater Preowei project, which would help Total increase its oil production.
Among the world’s top oil companies, Total is one of the strongest players in the African oil sector, holding the largest proven reserves on the continent.
Total started production at the Egina oilfield off the coast of Nigeria earlier this month. Pouyanne said “on the same area as Egina, we have Preowei, which could be connected to Egina, We are working on that”.
The Chief Executive Officer also revealed plans to expand its Nigerian LNG project in 2019. He said “the market is very good today to do that, it is a very interesting project and the partners are in line to develop it…2019 should be the year of expanding Nigeria LNG”.
Pouyanne called on Nigeria to issue new exploration licences, saying the country’s oil and gas sector had been dormant in recent years in terms of exploration and new projects due to uncertainties and the ongoing discussions over Nigeria’s oil industry regulation.
The last round of exploration licenses tenders was in 2011. Pouyanne said “I hope the new government that will come after the election will launch new tenders for awarding new exploration licenses”.