March 9, 2009 / 9:56 AM / 10 years ago

Total confirms Nigeria Akpo oilfield startup

ABUJA (Reuters) - French oil major Total’s (TOTF.PA) Akpo deep offshore oilfield in Nigeria has started operations with production expected to reach 175,000 barrels per day this summer, the company said on Monday.

An official with Nigeria’s state-run oil firm NNPC told Reuters on Thursday the oilfield, located 200 kilometers off the coast of the Niger Delta, had pumped first oil earlier in the week.

Nigeria, the world’s eighth biggest oil exporter, is hoping its new offshore oilfields will help boost its production as funding shortfalls and insecurity in the Niger Delta keep a cap on output from onshore and shallow water ventures.

Africa’s largest oil producer is pumping less than 2 million barrels per day out of an installed output capacity of about 3 million bpd.

The operator of the field, Total, holds a 24 percent stake with Brazil’s state-run oil firm Petrobras (PETR4.SA), NNPC, China’s CNOOC (CEO.N) (0883.HK) and Nigeria’s Sapetro also equity holders.

For full Reuters Africa coverage and to have your say on the top issues, visit: africa.reuters.com/ Reporting by Randy Fabi; Editing by James Jukwey

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