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British firm to commence new oil production in Nigeria – Daily Trust

British oil firm Afren said it hoped to bring a field discovered in Nigeria in January into production in the “near-term”, after tests on the oil proved successful.

The company, whose main producing assets are in Nigeria but which also has assets in Kenya and Kurdistan, said it will drill two production wells on the Okoro East field in the second half of 2012, meaning new output could be added this year.

“We will now work towards realising near-term production from Okoro East. The tie back to existing facilities ensures a very high return on the additional wells,” Chief Executive Osman Shahenshah said in a statement on Wednesday.

Okoro East was discovered near its Okoro field in January, allowing Afren to use existing facilities at Okoro to add new production more quickly and cheaply than is usual when a new oil field is found.

Afren, which in the middle of last year cut its production target after a delay at its key Ebok field in Nigeria, said in the longer term it will also submit a full field development plan for Okoro East to enable it maximise output.

“Combined with follow-on opportunities elsewhere in the block, Okoro can continue to be a driver of exploration upside as well as production growth going forward,” analysts at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, which acts as broker to the firm, said.

Initial production from the two wells at Okoro East could reach 14,000 barrels of oil per day (bopd), Afren said, a significant addition to the company’s year-end output rate of 55,400 bopd.(Reuters)

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