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Nigeria Finds Crude in Inland Basins as Seeks to Boost Reserves

Oct. 10 (Bloomberg) -- Nigeria said it found oil in its inland basins as Africa’s biggest producer of crude stepped up exploration after missing targets to raise reserves and output.

“We are determined to further develop on these findings and expand the scope of such explorations,” President Goodluck Jonathan told lawmakers today in the capital of Abuja. In 2013, the government plans to spend 16 billion naira ($102 million) exploring for oil in the inland basins, Jonathan said.

Africa’s most populous nation gets more than 95 percent of its foreign-exchange income from oil exports. The West African nation, with an average daily output of 2.4 million barrels, is targeting 40 billion barrels of crude reserves by 2020, up from 37 billion barrels now, Andrew Yakubu, group managing director of state-owned Nigerian National Petroleum Corp., said Oct. 8.

That was after Nigeria missed plans to boost reserves to 40 billion barrels by 2010 and output to 4 million barrels a day.

At least 90 percent of Nigerian crude is pumped from the oil-rich Niger River delta by Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Exxon Mobil Corp., Chevron Corp., Total SA and Eni SpA in joint ventures with the state oil company. New finds were made in four inland basins including Anambra, Chad, Yola and the Benue Trough and the state-owned petroleum company is leading the exploration.

To contact the reporters on this story: Elisha Bala-Gbogbo in Abuja at ebalagbogbo@bloomberg.net;

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dulue Mbachu at dmbachu@bloomberg.net

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