By Edith Ike- Eboh
The Nigeria-Sao Tome and Principe Joint Development Authority (JDA) has signed a Production Sharing Contract (PSC) with Total Nigeria Limited on Joint Development Zone (JDZ) blocks 7, 8 and 11.
Speaking at the contract signing on Thursday in Abuja, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Godfery Onyeama, said the contract was a big milestone for the two countries.
He said that Nigeria would continue to support efforts aimed at strengthening its partnership with Sao Tome and Principe in oil business.
Onyeama, who was represented by Mr Lot Egopija the acting Permanent Secretary, gave the assurance that government would further strengthen the relations between the two countries.
The Acting Chairman of the JDA Board, Dr Almajiri Geidam, said that the contract would facilitate effective management of petroleum resources in both countries.
He added that it would bring more investors and expand the existing business between the two countries.
Geidam said that the authority had signed a treaty with Total in 2001 on exploration of some oil blocks, noting that this second round of PSC would be effectively carried out.
“The Board worked tirelessly to ensure that the signed PSC treaty will be executed with transparency and accountability. This will help investors and partners to utilise the huge potentials of the JDA,” he said.
Also, Dr Elsa Pinto, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sao Tome and Principe, said her country would continue to be committed to the terms of the contract.
She said that the PSC would come with its challenges and expectation, urging both parties to effectively work to achieve positive result.
Pinto reiterated the commitment and willingness of her country to continue to work with Nigeria.
“I want to thank the Nigerian government for all the technical support we have been receiving from you. They have given us good results,” he said.
In his remarks, the Managing Director of Total, Mr Nicholas Terraz, said that signing the contract was a home coming for Total as it had worked with JDA in the past on Block 1.
“Our signing the contract is our way of demonstrating our willingness to do something meaningful for both countries. We appreciate their confidence in Total,” he said.
He added that Total would invest close to 10 million US dollars in executing this project.
Also, Dr Ibiwari Jack, the JDA Executive Director, said that the JDZ is an area located between the oil-rich Gulf of Guinea, adding that the two countries were at the center.
He said that the board took time to deliberate before reaching this agreement bearing in mind the challenges and what it would take to engage an IOC like Total.
He said that licensing lines for the contract has been concluded, pointing out that the blocks 7, 8 and 11 covered about eight square kilometers. (NAN)