Nigeria's NNPC to get $1.04 billion from Afrexim for petroleum exploration

FILE PHOTO: A products price board displays the new petrol pump price at the NNPC retail outlet in Abuja, Nigeria September 3, 2020. REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde

LAGOS (Reuters) -Nigerian state oil company NNPC has signed a $1.04 billion facility with the African Export-Import Bank (Afrexim) for petroleum exploration, the bank said in a statement on Wednesday.

The agreement is backed by oil cargoes, and under it NNPC will deliver 35,000 barrels per day (BPD) of crude oil, it said.

Nigeria, Africa’s top oil exporter, has along with other petroleum producers struggled to find attractive exploration funding as lenders shift away from fossil fuels due to climate concerns.

Afrexim President Benedict Oramah said the loan represented a balanced approach to development and climate, noting that Africa contributes just 4% to the world’s greenhouse gas emissions.

“Stopping development for parts of Africa today to achieve a clean environment for the whole world tomorrow is utterly foolhardy,” Oramah said.

Nigeria recently overhauled the laws underpinning its petroleum sector for the first time in two decades, which it hopes will spur development of its oil and gas industries.

It has struggled to boost oil production in recent months, due in part to underinvestment, while developing its comparatively neglected gas sector is a top priority of President Muhammadu Buhari.

Nigeria relies on petroleum for 90% of its foreign exchange and roughly half its national budget.

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