Total Nigeria Signs $7.5 Billion Loan Agreement With Eight Banks

Total SA’s Nigerian contractors’ Total Exploration & Production Nigeria Ltd. and Total Upstream Nigeria Ltd. agreed to borrow $7.5 billion from eight lenders in sub-Saharan Africa’s second-biggest economy.

“It’s meant to finance local contractors and suppliers,” Charles Ebereonwu, Total’s spokesman in Nigeria, said today by phone from Abuja, the capital. “It’s in line with Total’s development program for local contractors.”

Banks in Africa’s top crude producer have increased lending to finance oil, power and infrastructure projects after returning to profit from near-collapse in 2008 and 2009. Lending to the oil industry increased as smaller producers expand drilling. Companies such as London-based Heritage Oil Plc and Lagos-based Neconde Energy Ltd. bought stakes in fields owned by Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Eni SpA and Total, Nigeria’s fourth-largest oil and gas producer.

The eight lenders providing the $7.5 billion facility for Total’s contractors are Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, Ecobank Nigeria, Zenith Bank, Diamond Bank, United Bank for Africa, Standard Chartered Bank, Access Bank and Fidelity Bank, Ebereonwu said.

Royal Dutch Shell, Chevron Corp., Exxon Mobil Corp., Total and Eni pump about 90 percent of Nigeria’s oil through ventures with state-owned Nigerian National Petroleum Corp.

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