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Nigeria oil auction suffers from Niger delta kidnap jitters

Only around half of 45 oil exploration blocks Nigeria put up for auction Friday attracted bids, with foreigners wary of political uncertainy ahead of a government change, officials said. The vast majority of those who submitted bids Friday were domestic oil companies. The few foreign bidders were virtual unknowns, an AFP reporter at the auction said. Oil and gas analysts blamed the timing of the auction for the lack of interest on the part of big western oil companies. The bid round comes between the April elections and May 29, the date at which the outgoing administration of Olusegun Obasanjo hands over to its successors. Full Story

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