Sao Tome prime minister visits US to discuss oil exploration

13 April 2010

Sao Tome, Sao Tome and Principe, 13 April – The prime minister of Sao Tome and Principe is this week due to meet with US oil sector officials to discuss exploration of oil wells in Sao Tome, according to a report from the Reuters news agency.

In March Sao Tome launched an international tender, which is due to close in mid-September, for exploration of oil in seven of 19 oil wells.

Macauhub has learned that Prime Minister Joaquim Rafael Branco and high-ranking officials from the Sao Tome National Oil Agency (ANP) are due to travel to New Orleans and Houston for meetings, amongst others, with representatives of Exxon Mobil, Shell Oil and Chevron.

Luís dos Prazeres, director of ANP said that the government planned to hear the opinions of oil companies interested in the oil exploration tender.

He also noted that 10 international oil groups from the United States, Europe and Asia had shown interest in the tender and in oil exploration in Sao Tome.

The Sao Tome government hopes to become a commercial oil producer within the next eight years.

The first auction of oil wells was held in 2004, but their development has been delayed due to differences of opinion with Nigeria about the joint area in the sea border.

Sao Tome and Principe recently showed interest in establishing partnerships with energy companies from Angola and Portugal. (macauhub)

MACAUHUB FRENCH