Last week, ExxonMobile announced the discovery of between 500 million to one billion barrels of oil in Nigeria. The discovery is located in the Owowo-2 and Owowo-3 oil fields. ExxonMobile owns a 27 percent interest in the field, it shares ownership with Chevron Nigeria Deepwater (27 percent), Total (18 percent), Nexen Petroleum Deepwater Nigeria Limited (18 percent), and the Nigeria Petroleum Development Company Limited (10 percent). The president of ExxonMobile Exploration Company, Stephen M. Greenlee, said that Exxon “…will work with our partners and the government on future development plans.”
The countries oil production had dropped to 1.2 million barrels a day in May due to militant attacks in the Niger Delta, however, the Nigerian petroleum minister claimed on Tuesday that production had recovered to 2.1 million barrels a day. Though, groups like the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) continue to attack oil infrastructure in the Delta and there is skepticism about the official production figures.
The new oil discovery is off-shore. While such facilities are less threatened by insurgent attacks, they are by no means immune. The NDA has carried out attacks on offshore platforms in the past. Nevertheless, the recent ExxonMobile announcement highlights the immense size and potential of Nigeria’s oil reserves