France's TotalEnergies to invest billions in Nigeria

Oil and Gas  Lewis Joly/Pool via REUTERS
© Lewis Joly/Pool via REUTERS

French energy giant TotalEnergies is ready to invest $6 billion (5.5 billion euro) over several years in Nigeria's oil and energy industry, especially in gas and offshore projects.

Nigeria, Africa's top economy and major oil producer, is looking to bring in more foreign investment since President Bola Ahmed Tinubu came to office in May with a set of economic reforms.

The OPEC member has seen its crude output on the decline in recent years due to widespread theft from pipelines and attacks and high operating costs and bureaucracy deterring on-shore investors.

Total's announcement follows a similar pledge from Shell earlier this month looking at $6 billion in offshore, gas and liquefied gas projects.

Tinubu meet with CEO of Total Energies Worldwide Patrick Pouyanne for talks in the capital Abuja on Monday.

"We are committed to removing all cobwebs and anti-investment impediments in the oil and gas industry. We have a clear path that we are committed to pursuing. We are ready to work with you," Tinubu said after meeting the Total team.

Nigeria a key market

According to the presidency statement, Pouyanne told Tinubu that Nigeria was "very important" for Total Energies, accounting for eight to 10 percent of the company's worldwide total production.

"We are ready to invest $6 billion in the coming years. We are looking extensively at more deepwater production and gas production opportunities across the terrain," he said.

"Everything is here. We just need to conclude with the tweaks and changes necessary to unlock the outstanding potential in both oil and gas."

A new Nigeria law, the Petroleum Industry Act, passed in 2021 after years of debate and delays aimed to bring more foreign investment in the oil sector with amendments to regulations, royalties and taxes.

(with AFP)