Sao Tome and Principe: Archipelago take son rotational presidency of the Joint Oil Exploration Authority

25 March 2008

Sao Tome, Sao Tome and Principe, 25 March – Sao Tome and Principe has taken on the rotational presidency of the Joint Oil Exploration Authority with Nigeria for the common agreement area between the two countries, the President fo Sao Tome, Fradique de Menezes said Monday.

In a presidential decree, the Sao Tome head of state nominated economist, Jorge Santos, as president of the Joint Authority, which is responsible for administrating the Joint Development Area and for managing oil resources, under the political direction of the Joint Ministerial Council, at the basis of the February 2001 treaty which established that Nigeria receives 60 percent of revenues while 40 percent goes to Sao Tome.

With a 12-month mandate, Santos, who had the role of commercial and investment director for the joint development zone (JDZ), will have the mission of organising a meeting of the Ministerial Council in May in Sao Tome with the aim of granting concession for two of the six blocs in the area as well as the approval of the Joint Authority’s budget for 2008, estimated at US$13 million.

Sao Tome’s leadership of the Joint Authority is taking place a few days after prime minister, Patrice Trovoada said he was concerned with how “slowly” some companies were moving ahead with oil prospecting in the JDZ’s blocs.

Only Chevron Texaco has drilled one of the six blocs in the JDZ, without having revealed if it is commercially viable, whilst China’s Sinopec and Addax Petroleum from Switzerland have scheduled the start of prospecting at two wells for August. (macauhub)

MACAUHUB FRENCH