- Nigerian President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua has ordered two main oil companies operating in the country to pay the production sharing contract arrears of US 1.91 billion to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
President Yar'Adua has instructed the NNPC to take "immediate steps" to recover the outstanding payments from Royal Dutch Shell and Exxon Mobil. The Nigerian leader does not want his country to lose any money in production-sharing in the deep offshore oilfields.
The world's eight largest oil producer is demanding US $850 million from Shell and US $646 from Exxon. It is also demanding US $415 million, being the exploitation of the Bonga oilfield, the producer of Nigeria's 10% oil.
Exxon claimed to have "fully complied with all laws and regulations and has paid taxes and royalties to Nigeria accordingly".
But Shell's Nigeria affliate [Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Comany] reacted differently to the presidential edit. "These matters are subject of ongoing discussions between the NNPC, SNEPCO and other partners in block OML 118 (the Bonga field)".
The Production Sharing Contracts, written in 1999 for a ten-year period, regulates oil extractions of the main companies in Africa's most densely populated country where strikes over fuel shortage and increasing poverty production sharing contracts.
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