ELAND Oil & Gas, the Nigeria-focused independent, has held out the prospect its first venture in the country will pay less tax than expected.

Aberdeen-based Eland said the Elcrest venture had made good progress in talks with relevant government departments in Nigeria about its tax status.

"Elcrest expects to benefit from a significant reduction in underlying tax rates," said Aim-listed Eland.

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The company said it would provide further detail when appropriate.

Eland started production from the OML 40 licence in Nigeria last month, following delays on a project to revamp a field that was shut in by Royal Dutch Shell amid security concerns.

It has an interest in OML 40 through its 45% holding in the Elcrest venture.

Elcrest has 45% of OML 40.

State-owned NPDC has 55%. Shares in Eland closed up 3.5p, at 121p.