Sao Tome companies must prepare to take part in oil activities, minister says

27 April 2007

Sao Tome, Sao Tome and Principe, 27 April – The Natural Resources and Environment Minister of Sao Tome and Principe, Manuel Deus Lima has called on Sao Tome companies to organize themselves technically and financially in order to take part in oil exploration activities.

He made the plea at a seminar organized Thursday by the Sao Tome and Principe National Oil Agency with the technical support of the World Bank, an event which had the aim of drawing up a national strategy for the archipelago’s business sector to be involved in the oil business.

Deus Lima, who is the government minister responsible for the oil sector, noted that companies needed to train their staff in several areas, boost their financial capacity and modernize their facilities and equipment.

He said there was a need to create a set of measures for the re-launch of the Sao Tome business sector in order to meet the demands of the market, in terms of the oil industry.

The minister’s appeal came just a few days after a government announcement about the construction of an oil port on the island of Principe to provide services to oil companies operating in the deep waters of central Africa.

Just over a month ago, Chinese oil company Sinopec and Addax of Switzerland said that in 2008 they will spend US$73.8 million on prospecting two oil blocs in the joint exploration area between Sao Tome and Principe and Nigeria.

In the same joint area, Chevron-Texaco announced it had struck oil, as yet without any commercial guarantee, in a bloc the signing bonus of cost the company US$123 million. (macauhub)

MACAUHUB FRENCH