Lagos — JSE-listed Nigerian oil group Oando is looking to boost crude output from next year as it breaks the back of a $2.5bn debt burden. That debt was built up through the 2014 acquisition of oil and gas assets from US giant ConocoPhillips. The borrowings will be almost 90% lower by the third quarter of 2019 and the company is now preparing for its next stage of development, CEO Wale Tinubu said in an interview at Oando’s Lagos headquarters. "We have purchased enough reserves and our job should really be to exploit those reserves," he said. Oando focused on repaying the debt after the ConocoPhillips deal to cushion the impact of the financing costs, but that came at the expense of growth, according to the CEO. The company, listed in Johannesburg and Lagos, is now able to increase its number of rigs and reopen oil fields, he said, taking advantage of a recovery in the oil price. Untapped reserves Oando has more than 450-million barrels of reserves following the ConocoPhillips acqui...

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