Aiteo is aggressively pursuing exploration and production. Africa is the next growth frontier and is central to our vision and ambitions for the future. We see opportunities where others do not look, and employ expertise and innovation to turn opportunity into rewarding reality.

Our joint venture with IS45 energy has produced more than a highly complementary partnership. We are devoted to responsibly developing energy resources in some of the world's most significant basins, including the Niger Delta basin and the Benue Trough.

The potential of these key areas is enormous and we are well positioned with the expertise, production assets and strategic locations to grow the yield for the long term.

Nigeria is ranked 11th in the world overall for oil production capacity and in 2010 produced roughly 2.45 million barrels per day. Through aggressive exploration and innovative extraction techniques, we are keeping the oil flowing for an energy-hungry world.

The deep water basins off the shores of West Africa represent an important source of new oil at a time when many conventional sources are becoming more challenging to develop.

It may not be easy to realize the full potential of West Africa's offshore fields, from the Niger Delta to the Benin Basin to the west, but the rewards for doing so are significant. Deepwater exploration is expected to take Nigeria's proven oil reserves above 40 billion barrels by the middle of the decade, while retrieval of the valuable commodity could bring this figure back down to less than 28 billion barrels by 2021.

We aim to work tirelessly across the upstream market, in both exploration and retrieval, so that our future discoveries add to the known oil reserves of the African continent as a whole and support the oil industry for the long term, while our work to tap into already-known reservoirs of oil increases output in the short term, bolstering Nigeria and other African countries' positions as world leadersin oil production.

Nigeria is Africa's largest oil producer and, in global terms, ranks 11th, with an output of around 2.45 million barrels per day. However, an increase in output of 500,000 barrels per day could take it to 7th worldwide, ahead of Mexico and the United Arab Emirates; output growth of 1 million barrels per day would put it close to Canada with nearly 3.5 million barrels of daily oil production

Similarly, Algeria's current position of 16th on the world stage would change significantly with efforts to raise its output. From its current 2 million barrel daily production, a 500,000-barrel increase would put it on a par with Nigeria's current capabilities. With a 50% rise in production to 3 million barrels, Algeria would also overtake Mexico, placing it in the world's top ten oil nations.

We know it will not be easy to reach the absolute full potential of Africa's continent-wide oil industry, but we are keen to see all the countries of our continent achieve their potential, reasserting their right to a strong standing on the world stage.

However, we are not mere prospectors; we also have the skills to undertake the necessary downstream activities to bring the raw materials to market as refined products, and to put them to important use in energy generation, for the mutual benefit of our stakeholders and of Africa's communities that currently live in fuel poverty.