[Documents menu] Documents menu

From nobody Sun Jul 13 06:26:06 2003
From: C R Spinner <cspinner@hotmail.com>
Newsgroups: soc.culture.african,soc.culture.south-africa,soc.culture.african.american
Subject: The Bush Agenda in Africa_2
Date: Sat, 12 Jul 2003 10:48:28 -0700
Message-ID: <hih0hvki6p29p2jlaf7pbu9k2c8r0v8vj4@4ax.com>


Bush Arrives As Nigerian Oil Reserves Climb

By Josephine Lohor, Chuks Okocha, Ify Isiekwenagbu, This Day, 11 July 2003

Lagos, Jul 11, 2003 (This Day/All Africa Global Media via COMTEX)—United States President George W. Bush arrives Nigeria today in the last leg of his five-nation African tour.

The visit, coming barely three years after a similar one by former US President Bill Clinton, coincides with the discovery of a new deepwater offshore field with about 300 million barrel of recoverable oil reserves.

The new find in the Usan deepwater field jointly owned by Total, ChevronTexaco and ExxonMobil, will raise Nigeria’s crude oil reserves to 33.3 billion barrels.

However, as Nigeria’s oil reserves continue to grow amid tight production limit approved by the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), US may use the opportunity of Bush visit to the country today, to renew pressure on it to quit OPEC.

The Usan oil field which lies in 990 metres and located about 97 kilometres offshore, was discovered in 2002. It is projected to come on stream in 2006 at a rate of 100,000 barrels per day (bpd) of light sweet crude.

French firm, Total, has a 20 percent stake in OPL 222 and is the operator. Canada’s Nexen Oil Company also holds 20 percent while US majors, ExxonMobil and Chevron-Texaco, each hold 30 percent equity.

Nigeria’s current OPEC quota is 2.092 million bpd compared to its actual production capacity of about 2.6 million bpd. Industry officials said yesterday that between this year and mid 2004, about two million barrels of oil will be added to Nigeria’s production capacity.

The additional barrels of oil is expected to come from Elf Petroleum’s Amenam/Kpono offshore field, Shell’s Bonga deep offshore field as well as ExxonMobil’s Yoho offshore field.

While Nigeria has submitted fresh claims for a higher quota, Ministry of Petroleum Resou-rces said Nigeria was considering pushing for an exemption of output from deep water region, from OPEC quota.

Nigeria is the only OPEC member-country that has discovered and producing oil from deep offshore. Considering the huge investment made, the government will make presentation to exclude deep offshore oil from OPEC quota, one source said.

THISDAY, however, learnt that the US may re-launch its pressure to get Nigeria quit OPEC and be able to supply more oil to the US.

It was gathered that the issue, will form a key part of Bush discussions with President Olusegun Obasanjo during today’s visit.

Key US energy experts have been holding discussions with the Nigerian government officials before now, a ministry source disclosed.

Already, the US is baiting Nigeria with plans to increase its purchase of Nigeria’s liquefied natural gas (LNG).

The visit of President Bush has drawn varied reactions from Nigerians. The Conference of Nigeria Political Parties CNPP said that the visit of the American leader has nothing to do with enhancement of democracy, but predicated on the search for oil for the general benefit of the US industries and military as it did to Iraq.

The CNPP Chairman Alhaji Balarabe Musa, alerted that as part of plans to re-colonise Nigeria, the US military has taken over the nation’s airspace and territorial waters noting all that remains is for a political invasion of Nigeria by US.

In his seven-point priority area of focus to President Bush, Sani urged that the issue of repatriation for the colonial exploitation and slave trade and the need to freeze the accounts of all former military leaders and serving public office holders who looted our treasury and stashed them in Western banks, should not be overlooked.

Sani stated that the threat to world peace is not terrorism but abject poverty in Africa and other developing countries, which has resulted in the loss of over 10 million people in armed conflicts in over 12 African countries, including Sudan, Sierra-Leone, Liberia, Uganda, Somalia, Rwanda and Burundi.

It is double standard to ask Charles Taylor to step down while other dictators are left untouched simply because they are pro- America, he added.