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A group of oil giants in Nigeria, under the aegis of the Oil Producers’ Trade Section of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, have stated that the country's deepwater oilfields have the potential to generate US$66bn worth of investment

rigs  kkDeepwater oilfields have the potential to impact the Nigerian economy in a more positive way through the growth of GDP and more job creation. (Image source: kk+/Flickr)

In a document made available to Nigerian daily THISDAY, the oil firms comprising Shell, ExxonMobil, Chevron and Total, said the deepwater oilfields would also contribute additional 900,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day to the country’s output in 2020 to offset a natural decline in production.

The oil majors also added that deepwater has broader impact on the Nigerian economy through the growth of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and job creation.

Nigeria currently has five deepwater oilfields including Shell’s Bonga, ExxonMobil’s Erha, Total’s Akpo and Usan and Chevron’s Agbami. But the operating companies said deepwater projects were technically and financially more challenging compared to onshore projects.

The oil firms pointed out that investments required for an operator to drill an onshore well amount to US$15mn while for a deepwater well it amounts to US$100mn. They also noted that while less risky conventional technology was used in onshore production, deepwater used more risky complex technology.

According to the group, the government contributed between 55 to 60 per cent of investments in onshore production while the oil companies provided 100 per cent of funds for deepwater investments.

The multinational oil firms also expressed concern that the fiscal terms in the current Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) would put the deepwater potentials at risk.