Abuja — When it comes to the future of its oil industry, Nigeria is looking miles out to sea. By early next year, the largest offshore production vessel ever delivered to Nigeria will start pumping crude from a deposit deep beneath the seabed, boosting the West African country’s oil output by about 10%. The project, viewed as the most ambitious in Nigeria’s history, could help to push production to a record by 2022. The project will help to boost the share of the nation’s production from offshore fields, part of a strategic shift that began at the start of the decade when companies including Chevron and Royal Dutch Shell started looking at higher-cost offshore fields to minimise risks from sabotage, kidnapping and crude theft. Two-thirds of the country’s production will stem from deep-water deposits by 2022, up from half today, according to Nigeria’s state oil company. “Deep-water drilling will replace onshore as the bulk of Nigeria’s oil production and revenue,” said Cheta Nwanze, ...

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