NNPC, Russian firm seal oil/gas devt deal

Nigeria and Russia on Thursday in Sochi, Russia, signed a Memorandum of Understanding, which would enable both countries’ oil giants, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and Russia’s Lukeoil, to elevate a commercial relationship to a government-to-government backed partnership.

A statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said with the signing of the MoU, the NNPC and Lukeoil would work together in the upstream operations and revamp Nigeria’s refineries.

The Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Mele Kyari, and the President of Lukeoil, Vagit Alekperov, reportedly signed the MoU, which would entail cooperation in deep offshore exploration of oil in Nigeria, production, trading and refining.

The statement said the signing ceremony, which took place on the sidelines of the Russia-Africa Summit, was witnessed by the Minister of State for Petroleum, Timipre Sylva.

At a meeting with Russian President, Vladimir Lenin, President Muhammadu Buhari said Nigeria was prepared and willing to work with Russian businesses “to improve the efficiency of our oil and gas sector, which provides us with the much-needed capital to invest in our security, infrastructure and economic diversification programmes.”

While taking note of the agreement between the NNPC and Lukeoil, President Buhari gave an assurance that his administration would “ensure this initiative is implemented within the shortest time possible.”
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