UPDATE 1-Nigeria's state oil company signs $2.5 bln pre-payment deal for gas projects with NLNG

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LAGOS, Oct 11 (Reuters) - State oil company Nigerian National Petroleum Corp (NNPC) on Friday said it had signed a $2.5 billion pre-payment agreement with Nigeria LNG (NLNG) for upstream gas development projects.

NLNG, which produces liquefied natural gas (LNG) for export, is owned by state-run Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and foreign energy firms Royal Dutch Shell, Total and ENI.

Nigeria was the fifth largest LNG producer in the world last year, falling from fourth place as its production declined and it was overtaken by the United States, according to the International Group of Liquefied Natural Gas Importers.

NLNG operates six LNG processing units, known as trains, on Bonny Island.

The pre-payment agreement is “for upstream gas development projects to supply trains 1-6”, NNPC said on Twitter. It did not provide further details.

Earlier this month NLNG said it had moved closer to an investment decision on the long-awaited Train 7 project to expand its liquefied natural gas plant on Bonny Island. (Reporting by Alexis Akwagyiram; Editing by Dale Hudson and Susan Fenton)