ABUJA, 3 May 2021 – Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered the country’s petroleum ministry to reinstate oil mining licenses revoked from Chinese firms three weeks ago.
Addax Petroleum had its licenses for oil fields 123, 124, and 137 revoked.
The Department of Petroleum Resources accused the Chinese company of inability to comply with targets.
Buhari said in a statement Saturday that the reinstatement shows Nigeria’s “commitment to the rule of law, fairness and enabling a stable business climate for investment”.
Proceeding with an exploration of the blocs will boost Nigeria’s oil production, Buhari added.
Addax Petroleum is owned by the Chinese state-owned SINOPEC.
It has a producing sharing arrangement with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation.
Over 218 Chinese firms were officially registered in Nigeria by the end of last year.
Trade between China and Nigeria was estimated to be worth $49 billion between 2015 and 2018, with a trade surplus of about $17.5 billion in favor of China.
Nigeria is Africa’s largest oil producer and the world’s fifth-largest exporter of liquefied natural gas in 2018, the last year for which the U.S. Energy Administration has data.
The country is heavily dependent on oil with its non-oil and gas revenue collection estimated to comprise only 3.4 percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP).
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) estimating that its exports of oil and natural gas earned Abuja $55 billion in 2018, up by $23 billion compared to earnings from the same exports in 2016.