Nigeria and Equatorial Guinea move to resolve dispute over oil-rich boundary

May 03, 1999 02:00 AM

Government officials from Nigeria and Equatorial Guinea were to meet from May 5 to 10 in Bata, a city in Equatorial Guinea, to try again resolve a dispute over an oil-rich boundary between the two countries.
Presidential sources said the decision to hold the meeting was made by the heads of state of the two countries during General Abdulsalami Abubakar' s visit to Equatorial Guinea last week.
The sources noted that the issue of the dispute was one of the critical problems discussed between General Abubakar and his counterpart Sassa Nguesso in Malabo, capital of the west African country.
During the talks, both leaders agreed that the dispute over the oil-rich boundary, in which the two countries have one oil block each, be resolved as amicably and as quickly as possible.
Nigeria and Equatorial Guinea have been at logger-heads since 1996 over a boundary dispute involving the two oil blocks lying side by side each other in the Bight of Bonny.
The oil block on the Equatorial Guinea side has been producing crude oil since 1996 from the Zafiro oil fields which are estimated to produce 80,000 bpd to 100,000 bpd of crude oil.
However, Nigeria is yet to start exploiting the oil fields in its own block, the southern most part of which borders the Zafiro oil fields in Equatorial Guinea.
An official of the Department of Petroleum Resources who accompanied General Abubakar to visit Equatorial Guinea said where issues like this arise in other parts of the world, the two sides will meet and agree to apply unitisation as a form of equitable distribution of resources in the region.

Source: Xinhua via Newspage
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