A South Korean consortium won rights to develop a pair of oil fields off the coast of Nigeria. The two sites are estimated to contain 2 billion barrels of crude oil, 2.5 times more than South Korea's 2004 annual oil consumption of 800 million barrels. Africa's largest oil producer began awarding new petroleum-exploration rights Friday. Early winners were Taiwan-based Chinese Petroleum Corporation, awarded an onshore field in the southern Niger Delta, and the local Northern Nigeria Development Company, which won rights to explore in two northeastern plots.
The South Korean consortium is led by state-owned Korea National Oil Corp., KEPCO and Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering Co.,They will hold a 65 percent stake, giving them operating control. Other stakeholders are India's Oil and Natural Gas Corp. Ltd. and a Nigerian company.