Sao Tome and Principe to set up commission to supervise oil revenue

8 May 2007

Sao Tome, Sao Tome and Principe, 8 May – The Sao Tome and Principe National Oil Agency has begun, with the help of the World Bank, a process of institutional consultation for the creation of a national oil commission on the archipelago, a spokesperson told Macauhub Monday in Sao Tome.

The source linked to the National Oil Agency said that creating this new oil body was part of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI).

The institutional consultation process began over the weekend in the capital of Sao Tome at a working meeting led by World Bank expert, Eleodoro Mayorga, along with the director of the National Oil Agency, Luis dos Prazeres, in the presence of several representatives of civil society from non-governmental organizations and the media, the source said.

The report resulting from this meeting will be presented in the next two weeks to the government of Sao Tome and Principe, which will be responsible for announcing the official creation of the commission and to name someone to coordinate it based on the EITI principles, the source said.

The National Oil Commission will be responsible for contracting audits on the country’s oil accounts.

The World Bank, as well as providing support in coordination with EITI and the creation of the oil revenue law, has helped Sao Tome and Principe both technically and financially, particularly in re-assessing the seismic data for the archipelago’s exclusive sea area.

As well as its exclusive area, Sao Tome and Principe also has a joint exploration area with Nigeria based on a treaty stating that Nigeria receives 60 percent of revenues while 40 percent goes to Sao Tome.

A few months after the announcement made by US oil company ChevronTexaco that it had struck oil, as yet without any commercial guarantee, in a bloc located in the joint area between Sao Tome and Principe and Nigeria, last March China’s Sinopec and Canada’s Addax Petroleum have scheduled the prospecting of two blocs in the same area, for 2008. (macauhub)