* Marginal bid round expected by early next year - minister
* U.S. shale oil to have "major impact" on demand
By Emma Farge
VIENNA, Dec 12 Nigeria, Africa's largest oil
exporter, is currently producing around 2.4 million to 2.5
million barrels per day and output should remain at similar
levels next year, the oil minister said on Wednesday.
A major fire at a Shell facility, an Exxon
spill and severe flooding cut oil output by up to a fifth in
October and November, and caused lengthy delays to exports.
Diezani Alison-Madueke told reporters during a meeting of
the OPEC oil-producing countries in Vienna that production had
since recovered and should remain at current levels.
"I expect it at least to stabilise (next year). The problems
have been flooding and bunkering and some vandalism which have
disrupted pipeline services," she said.
Alison-Madueke said Nigeria still hoped to hold a marginal
oil licensing round by early next year. This would be the first
since a bid round five years ago which failed to attract
interest from foreign oil majors.
Several targets for bid rounds set by the oil ministry have
not been met in recent years and uncertainty over a
over-reaching energy bill being debated in parliament could
deter potential investors, industry experts say.
OPEC oil ministers meet on Wednesday to discuss production
and are widely expected to hold output limits steady despite
forecasts for a fall in demand next year.
The expected increase in production of shale oil from the
United States will be on the agenda and Alison-Madueke said it
would have a "major impact" on demand for oil from countries
like Nigeria, a key exporter to the U.S.