Sao Tome and Nigeria meet to discuss split of oil production

9 March 2006

Sao Tome, Sao Tome and Principe, 09 March – Sao Tome and Principe and Nigeria are due to meet on March 14 to try to sign an agreement for splitting production from an oil bloc, Portuguese news agency Lusa reported citing government sources.

Sao Tome’s minister for natural resources, Deolindo da Costa said the meeting would discuss oil issues of the joint exploration area between the two countries..

At the meeting, due to take place in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, the two countries will try to conclude the process for signing an agreement to split production in bloc 4 between them, following a failed meeting on February 24.

The treaty for joint oil exploration, signed in February 2001, divided revenue from the area as 60 percent for Nigeria and the remaining 40 percent for Sao Tome and Principe.

Last February, Nigeria accused the Sao Tome government of trying to make the signing of the contract unviable, a charge denied by the Sao Tome authorities.

The Sao Tome government said that Nigeria was attempting to pressure it into finishing the contract process, without being aware of alleged last minute changes implemented by one of bloc 4’s operators.

Sao Tome’s authorities have stated that without informing either country, ERHC, a Nigerian company heading the consortium operating bloc 4, had included another Nigerian company in its consortium, Godosonic, which acquired a 9 percents take in ERHC.(macauhub)