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By Dipo Olowookere

The Executive Director and Production Manager of ExxonMobil Nigeria, Mr Richard Laing, has firmly debunked reports that the oil firm was planning to exit the country.

Mr Laing reacted to the exit rumour when Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Mr Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu, visited the ERHA FPSO operated by ExxonMobil Nigeria.

The ExxonMobil executive said the ERHA field is located in Oil Mining Lease (OML) 133 and ExxonMobil Nigeria holds a 56.25 percent participating interest while Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company (SNEPCO) holds the remaining 43.75 percent share.

The Floating, Production, Storage and Offloading (FPSO) has about 2.2 million barrels of storage capacity making it one of the largest of its kind, globally.

During the visit, the Minister the visit not only marks a defining one for the nation but also highlights a personal achievement for him considering that he took on his current portfolio from his then position as the Executive Vice Chairman of Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited and General Counsel for ExxonMobil Nigeria affiliate Upstream and Downstream Companies in Nigeria.

It was disclosed that the visit to the FPSO’s was to provoke the Oil Production Fields of Nigeria to ramp up their crude production and unlock gas in line with the Gas Revolution Agenda of the #7BigWins.

While addressing key business concerns of Exxon Mobil, Mr Kachikwu urged them to not only focus on the profitability of the firm but also on giving back to the society having been doing business around the country for a long time.

He commended the crew on behalf of federal government of Nigeria for their Sacrifice, urgency of attention and value addition while conveying President Muhammadu Buhari’s deep commitment to the welfare of those on the production fields.

Mr Kachikwu name-checked the Department of Petroleum Resources’ automation initiatives that include Crude Oil and LNG Tracking (COLT), Automatic Downstream System (ADS), Accelerated Lease Renewal Program (ALRP) and others. He also referenced the community engagement drive of the organization evidenced by the peace and harmony seen in operating areas.

Dipo Olowookere is a journalist based in Nigeria that has passion for reporting business news stories. At his leisure time, he watches football and supports 3SC of Ibadan. Mr Olowookere can be reached via

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