Sao Tome and Principe parliament approves new oil laws

6 July 2009

Sao Tome, Sao Tome and Principe, 6 July – The parliament of Sao Tome and Principe Saturday unanimously approved the framework Law for Oil Operations and the Oil Tax Law.

The Sao Tome government had been awaiting approval of the two laws to re-launch tenders for the oil blocks in the exclusive economic area of the archipelago, and the laws will now be sent for ratification by the President of the Republic.

The framework Law on Oil Operations was introduced a little over six months ago to the National Assembly by the government of prime minister Rafael Branco and had been generally approved by the 4th Commission of the Sao Tome parliament.

The director of the National Oil Agency said that the law was, “completely new, different,” but that, “it also requires that public tenders be launched,” despite opening up the possibility of, “there being direct negotiations in special cases.”

On 1 July, Luís Prazeres said that the National Oil Agency was looking for parties interested in auctions for oil exploration blocks in the country’s exclusive economic area.

Prazeres also said that interest had already been shown from companies already involved in oil exploration in the Sao Tome/Nigeria Joint Development Zone (JDZ) , such as China’s Sinopec and Addax. (macauhub)