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Exxon Mobil has committed to increasing oil production in Nigeria, reported Reuters, citing Nigerian presidential spokesperson Ajuri Ngelale.

The US oil and gas major aims to increase production by nearly 40,000 barrels per day as part of further investment in the African nation.

Earlier this week in New York, Nigerian President Bola Tinubu held talks with Exxon president of global upstream operations Liam Mallon to attract global investment to Nigeria.

More than 80% of the oil produced in Nigeria is pumped by the state-owned oil company, NNPC, through joint ventures and offshore production-sharing agreements with oil majors such as Exxon.

Exxon has “made significant progress” in Nigeria, Mallon was quoted as saying by Ngelale in a statement.

“We are growing our production, and we are working hard on expanding in the deepwater production,” the Exxon executive said.

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By GlobalData

The talks were confirmed by an Exxon representative, who declined to provide further details.

Nigeria’s production of oil and condensates increased to 1.67 million barrels per day from just under a million barrels per day a few months ago, because of security upgrades in the oil-rich Niger River delta region.

Two years ago, Nigeria enacted a historic oil bill to reduce regulatory uncertainty and attract investment.

However, Africa’s top oil producer continues to face difficulties in its oil sector, including widespread theft and sabotage, the report said.

As per the statement, Tinubu promised to address unresolved concerns and “crush” any obstacles that were preventing fresh, substantial money from flowing into Nigeria’s energy sector.

“The knotty issues require direct supervision on my part. Despite many contending obligations, I will sit down and oversee the process of removing these encumbrances,” the President was quoted as saying.

“Nigeria has never been more ready for business than it is now,” he added.

Last month, it was reported that a consortium led by Exxon is planning to invest nearly $13bn to develop its sixth oil project, called Whiptail, off the coast of Guyana.