São Tomé and Príncipe earns US$2 million oil concession bonus

19 April 2012

São Tomé and Príncipe has earned US$2 million as a bonus for signing the contract to share oil production with the British company Equator Exploration, the director of the National Petroleum Agency (ANP) said on Wednesday in São Tomé.

During the ceremony to sign the production sharing agreement, Luís de Prazeres explained that the 28-year contract was based on an option and preference right of Equator Exploration concerning bloc 5 of the island country’s exclusive maritime zone, in the wake of agreements signed by the two parties in 2001.

Equator Exploration executive director Philip Dimmock said that “if the three survey phases are successful, then the company’s total investment will top US$200 million”.

Equator Exploration is an oil company registered in the British Virgin Islands. Besides bloc 5, it also holds right of preference over bloc 12 and the respective production sharing contract should be signed within three months, Dimmock said.

The São Tomé and Príncipe government signed last October a similar contract concerning bloc 3 with Nigeria’s Oranto Petroleum, following the March 2010 auction of blocs in the exclusive zone.

Besides the exclusive economic zone, São Tomé and Príncipe and Nigeria also maintain a joint exploitation area per a treaty signed in February 2011, whereby Nigeria receives 60% of its revenues and São Tomé and Príncipe 40%. (macauhub)