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ABUJA, May 9 (Reuters) - Italian oil company Eni plans to build a crude refinery in Nigeria with capacity of 150,000 barrels a day through its Agip subsidiary, the country’s oil minister said on Tuesday.
Nigeria has been seeking investment in the sector to reduce reliance on imported oil products that consume a large portion of the nation’s scarce foreign currency reserves. After years o neglect its existing, ageing refineries produce hardly any fuel.
“We reached an agreement that Agip will build a brand new refinery of 150,000 barrel capacity, Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu told reporters after meeting Eni executives in Abuja.
A memorandum of understanding is being prepared, he added.
ENI executives declined to talk to reporters at the event, but in January the company said that it would “intensify” oil and gas exploration in Nigeria and help to revamp the Port Harcourt oil refinery.
Reporting by Felix Onuah; Writing by Ulf Laessing; Editing by David Goodman