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Lloyds List: BG Group takes a 45% interest in Nigerian deepwater block

BG GROUP has farmed into a Nigerian deepwater block to extend its upstream focus around the Atlantic Basin, writes Martyn Wingrove .
The London-listed energy firm has taken a 45% interest in block 332 in the western Niger Delta and signed a production-sharing contract with Nigerian National Petroleum Corp.
BG Group took the interest from Sahara Energy Exploration ' Production, which still retains another 45% stake in the block it gained in August 2005 during the country's licensing round.
The other partner in the block, which lies in water depths of 100 m and 1,000 m, is Seven Energy Nigeria, holding the remaining 10%.
'Nigeria is a prolific hydrocarbon province, which fits well with our market-focused Atlantic Basin strategy,' said BG's vice-president for the Mediterranean and Africa, Stuart Fysh.
He thinks BG Group will build its presence in the country's energy sector further from this early position.
A spokesperson confirmed BG was looking for more investment opportunities after failing to gain blocks in last year's licensing rounds.
On block 332 there will be two phases of exploration, with a seismic survey shot this year followed by at least one exploration well.
BG Group has an agreement with Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas to take 2.5m tonnes of LNG per annum for 20 years from the Bonny plant. The first of these shipments to the Lake Charles import terminal in Louisiana left Nigeria this month.
BG also has a memorandum of understanding with US major Chevron, London-listed Shell and NNPC to jointly develop an LNG facility near Olokola, in the western delta area.
Block 332 lies 50 km southwest of the proposed LNG plant site.
– Chevron has spudded the first exploration well in the joint development zone between Nigeria and S'o Tome with the hope of finding another large oilfield in the Gulf of Guinea.
The US oil major has taken Transocean's drillship Deepwater Discovery to probe the Obo prospect in JDZ block 1. The well is in 1,750 m of water and is likely to take 60 days to drill and test.
Chevron has a 51% stake in the block, ExxonMobil has 40% and Dangote Energy Equity Resources holds the rest.

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