Afren in Nigeria block deal

First Hydrocarbon Nigeria, which is partly owned by London-listed Afren, confirmed yesterday the purchase of a 45 per cent stake in Nigerian oil block OML 26 for $147.5m (£94m) from Shell, Total and Eni. FHN, a Nigerian firm set up by Afren, First City Monument Bank (FCMB) and Guaranty Trust Bank, to purchase local energy assets, said OML 26 was producing 6,000 barrels of oil per day (bpd) and this would increase to 40,000 bpd within four years. Afren owns 45 per cent of FHN. FHN plans to operate the block with the producing arm of Nigerian state-oil company NNPC, which owns the other 55 per cent and wants more indigenous companies to own the oil in Africa's most populous nation.