Sao Tome oil boom creates banking, tourism and transport business opportunities – report

2 January 2006

Sao Tome, Sao Tome and Principe, 2 Jan – The anticipated onset of oil production in Sao Tome in the next few years will create significant openings in the archipelago’s banking, tourism and transport sectors, the Portuguese Industrial Association (AIP) says in its latest report on the country.

Business activities centered on offshore oil exploration and production will have a knock-on effect on other sectors, especially tourism, banking and transport, says the AIP, and manufacturing industries, civil construction, energy and utilities, and commerce and services, particularly financial, will also reap benefits from the expected petroleum bonanza.

The main hurdles to developing Sao Tome’s business sector remain poor transport networks, foreign aid dependency, inefficient public administration, lack of some essential goods and”feeble” financial and insurance systems, states the AIP report.

Test drilling by a consortium led by ChevronTexaco in an offshore oil block in the Joint Development Zone (JDZ) operated by Sao Tome and Nigeria is due to begin this month.

Significant amounts of crude are only expected to be pumped from the JDZ after about four years and until this time Sao Tome’s oil revenues will continue to depend on signature bonuses from oil contracts. (macauhub)