Nigeria is calling for higher OPEC production limits as Western companies press to pump more crude and the government seeks to boost revenue in a country where seven of 10 people live on less than $1 a day.
The nation's oil capacity next year may rise 30 percent after investments by Royal Dutch/Shell Group, Exxon Mobil Corp. and ChevronTexaco Corp. President Olusegun Obasanjo wants a higher quota to raise oil revenue that represents 90 percent of export earnings to help him win reelection next year, analysts said.
``The country, by virtue of installed capacity and economic need, clearly needs a higher quota,'' said Paul Skinner, the head of the oil refining business at Shell, which pumps almost half of Nigeria's crude. ``There is a significant discussion I think to be had within OPEC about Nigeria's quota level.''
Nigeria, the No. 5 producer in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, is seeking a greater share of the world oil market, at the expense of Middle East countries such as Saudi Arabia. The U.S., the world's largest oil consumer, wants a broader range of foreign oil suppliers.
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