French oil group Total’s CEO Patrick Pouyanne on Monday called on Nigeria to issue new exploration licences, saying the country’s oil and gas sector had been dormant in recent years in terms of exploration and new projects due to uncertainties and the ongoing discussions over Nigeria’s oil industry regulation.
The last round of exploration licenses tenders was in 2011. “I hope the new government that will come after the election will launch new tenders for awarding new exploration licenses,” he said. He was speaking on the sidelines of a meeting of Nigerian and French businesses in Paris.
This month, Total started production at the Egina oilfield off the coast of Nigeria. Nigerians will vote on Feb. 16 in a presidential election with incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari seeking a second term.