Chinese oil firm Addax targets Nigeria for growth
Chinese energy firm Addax said Wednesday it was seeking further growth in Nigeria after the recent purchase of a significant offshore stake from France's Total in Africa's largest oil producer.
Chinese firms have so far had limited impact in Nigeria's oil industry in comparison to traditional Western companies such as Shell and ExxonMobil, but an executive from Addax, owned by China's Sinopec, told an industry conference here it was hungry for more.
Speaking of Sinopec's international arm SIPC, Cornelis Zegelaar, managing director for Addax's Nigerian branch, said "Nigeria is the most important for us and the biggest producer."
"So when I was in Beijing last month when I was meeting with the top leaders of Sinopec, they told me that I have to do everything possible to make sure that the operations are not only run efficiently and safely, but also that they will grow the business," he said.
He told AFP that Addax was now producing more than 90,000 barrels per day from four licenses in Nigeria, mainly in the shallower offshore areas.
That remains significantly below major producers in Nigeria, where total output is currently at around 2.0 million barrels per day.
Total announced in November the sale of its 20-percent stake in an offshore bloc to Sinopec, whose official name is China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation, for $2.5 billion (2.0 billion euros).
The OML 138 bloc, which includes the Usan oil well in production since last year, is co-owned by US groups Chevron and ExxonMobil and Canadian company Nexen.
"Let's say it's our first step to get into deepwater -- a modest step, but we are certainly committed to growth internationally, and certainly in Nigeria," Zegelaar told AFP.
© 2013 AFP