Oil company Addax replaces Noble Energy in Sao Tome and Principe

20 February 2006

Sao Tome, Sao Tome and Principe, 20 Feb – Swiss oil company Addax has replaced US company Noble Energy as the company chosen to explore an oil bloc in the joint exploration area between Sao Tome and Nigeria, Sao Tome’s Natural Resources Minister told Portuguese news agency Lusa Friday.

Minister Deolindo da Costa, said the decision had been taken a little over a week before in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, in a meeting of the joint ministerial council (between Sao Toma and Nigeria), as part of the process to grant an exploration license for five bloc in the joint exploration area.

The council made its decision based on a resolution presented by the joint authority for exploration that put forward Switzerland’s Addax as the company selected for exploration of bloc 4, in detriment of US company Noble Energy, due to its allegedly giving up its position.

Addax put forward a proposal of around US$90 million to take up the place left empty by Noble for concession of that bloc, which is considered one of the blocs with greatest potential due to the large amount of oil it is expected to contain.

The minister said that “the licensing process and respective signing of an agreement should be concluded by the end of this month.”

Depending on the proposals put forward by the selected oil companies, the joint exploration authority between Sao Tome and Nigeria expects to net over US$400 million, of which Nigeria will keep 60 percent of revenues and the remaining 40 percent will go to Sao Tome. (macauhub)