Chad withdraws Chinese exploration permits
Chad has decided to withdraw five exploration permits issued to a Chinese company and press charges in a row over a $1.2bn fine for environmental violations, the oil ministry has said.
Djerassem Le Bemadjiel, Chad’s oil minister, told a news conference on Saturday that the move was “to avoid further environmental degradation, not to make place for other companies”.
The China National Petroleum Company (CNPC) was forced to suspend operations in Chad in May after refusing to pay a fine of $1.2bn (800 million euro) for “unacceptable practices” that had led to “noxious spills” around drilling sites.
Chad ranks as the tenth-largest oil reserve holder among African countries, with 1.5 billion barrels of proven reserves as of January 1, 2013, according to the Oil and Gas Journal.