March 5, 2009 / 4:42 PM / in 10 years

UPDATE 1-Nigeria's Akpo oilfield starts production -NNPC

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ABUJA, March 5 (Reuters) - Nigeria’s Akpo offshore oilfield, operated by French oil major Total (TOTF.PA), began production this week, a senior official with state-run oil firm NNPC said on Thursday. “It started production in the last two or three days,” the NNPC official told Reuters. He declined to say how much it was producing.

Total has a 24 percent stake in Akpo, with Brazil’s state-run oil firm Petrobras and NNPC also equity holders.

A Petrobras senior executive told Reuters last month the oilfield should ramp up production to around 185,000 barrels per day by September or October.

Nigeria, the world’s eighth biggest oil exporter, is hoping its new offshore oilfields will help boost its production as funding shortfalls and insecurity in the Niger Delta keep a cap on output from onshore and shallow water ventures. (Reporting by Randy Fabi, editing by Anthony Barker)

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