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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
05LAGOS422
2005-03-16 17:01:00
UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY
Consulate Lagos
Cable title:  

GOVERNMENT REQUESTS ASSISTANCE WITH 2005 PETROLEUM

Tags:   EPET  EINV  NI  ENERG 
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This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

161701Z Mar 05
						UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 LAGOS 000422 

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

STATE FOR AF/W
STATE FOR EB/ESC/IEC/ENR/BLEVINE
STATE FOR DS/IP/AF
STATE FOR INR/AA
STATE PASS DOE FOR DAS JBRODMAN AND CGAY
STATE PASS TREASURY FOR ASEVERENS AND SRENANDER
STATE PASS DOC PHUEPER
STATE PASS TRANSPORTATION MARAD
STATE PASS USAID FOR GWEYNAND AND SLAWAETZ
STATE PASS EX-IM FOR JRICHTER
STATE PASS OPIC FOR CDUFFY
STATE PASS TDA FOR NCABOT AND BTERNET

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EPET EINV NI ENERG
SUBJECT: GOVERNMENT REQUESTS ASSISTANCE WITH 2005 PETROLEUM
BID ROUND


Summary
--------



1. (U) This is an action request for the Department of
Energy and the U.S. Trade and Development Agency: Please see
paragraphs five and six.



2. (SBU) In a series of meetings on March 9 and 10 with a
visiting Department of Energy official, Presidential Advisor
for Petroleum and Energy Resources, Dr. Daukuro, and
Ministry of Petroleum Resources Technical Advisor Tony
Chukweueke requested assistance from the Department of
Energy on the 2005 bid round, publicly launched by the
Ministry of Petroleum Resources (MPR) at a March 11 press
conference. The bid round will allow firms to bid for
licenses to develop the sixty-one remaining blocks in
Nigeria. A final conference, where bids will be collected
and awards announced, is currently planned for late July or
early August.



3. (SBU) Dr. Daukuro stated his concerns that the bidding
be perceived as open and transparent by potential foreign
investors, because Nigeria hopes to attract new independent
energy firms. Chukweueke noted that Nigeria was "tired of
being dominated" by the same major firms, and would like to
bring other, smaller firms to the table. Dakouro and
Chukweueke proposed DOE assistance to audit the GON bidding
process, which they believe would give "international
assurances" to investors that the process was clean,
provided the GON passed the audit. DOE Africa Team Leader
Gay and Energy Off promised to forward this request for
assistance to the DOE, but made no further commitments.
They cautioned Dr. Daukuro and his team that DOE is not in
the position to give public assurances of the transparency
and equity of the process, but at best might be able to
provide informal feedback on the bid process. Without prior
notice to us, the MPR, at its March 11 press conference,
publicly advertised it had given "Invitations to the UK and
US Departments of Energy to provide international
assurances."



4. (SBU) Ministry of Petroleum Resources (MPR) Technical
Advisor Tony Chukweueke also requested U.S. Trade and
Development Agency assistance in organizing and financing a
one-day business conference with the Association of Blacks
in Energy, to attract African-American and smaller
independent firms to participate in the bid round. He
proposed this could be an add-on to the 2005 Bid Round
Investor roadshow, scheduled in Houston on March 28.



5. (SBU) Action Request: For DOE - Not withstanding MPR's
inelegant advertisement about international assurances,
there may be a benefit to providing some assistance to help
improve the bid process. However, any assistance would have
to be tailored in a manner that does not give the impression
that we are lending "international assurances," particularly
given that the bid round is imminent. Consequently, Mission
requests DOE advice on assistance DOE could make available
to the MPR to enhance the transparency of the 2005 bidding
round. Mission recognizes the short time frame involved in
this request, but would appreciate assistance that might
make the bid round more transparent for the American firms
that will participate in it. While mission does not endorse
MPR's desire for "international assurances, it would be
helpful if DOE could suggest a list of well-regarded U.S.
firms in the energy sector that could perform a credible
audit of the bid process.



6. (SBU) Action Request: For TDA - Mr. Chukweueke's
request for organizing and financing the one-day conference
with the Association of Blacks in Energy comes with very
little notice, given that he wants the conference to take
place around March 28. However, any assistance TDA could
give at this late juncture may help get more U.S. entrants
into the bid process - a good thing for the U.S. Thus
mission asks TDA to let us know if there is any assistance
it can give MPR at this time. We regret the lateness of
this request from MPR.

BROWNE#