(Adds value of agreement, detail)
ABUJA Dec 15 Nigeria will clear unpaid bills
worth $5.1 billion for oil production joint ventures piled up
over many years under a deal signed on Thursday with Shell
, Chevron, Total, Eni and
The deal would unlock new investment in the OPEC member
country, Oil Minister Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu said in a speech at
the signing ceremony, adding the repayment would take place over
the coming five years.
He said the oil majors had given Nigeria a discount of $1.7
billion, lowering the original amount from $6.8 billion.
The agreement would also ensure that future Nigerian
payments to production joint-ventures with oil majors would be
paid in time, he told reporters after the signing.
Kachikwu also said that Forcados exports would resume soon,
without giving any more precise information. The grade has been
under force majeure since February after multiple attacks on the
pipelines that carry it to the export terminal.
(Reporting by Paul Carsten and Ulf Laessing; editing by Jason
Neely and Susan Thomas)