Nigeria accused of selling offshore oil blocs belonging to Sao Tome

Aug 04, 1999 02:00 AM

An oil company in Sao Tome and Principe accused Nigeria of selling two offshore oil blocs that are in fact within the territorial waters of the West African archipelago, news reports said.
In a statement, the company, Hidrocarboneto S.A., urged the Sao Tome and Principe government to "defend national interests," state radio said. The report comes amid ongoing negotiations between Nigeria and Sao Tome and Principe on the delimitation of the two countries' territorial waters.
Foreign Minister Paulo Jorge Rodrigues admitted the government had indications of Nigeria's deal. There was no information on the production capacity of the two blocs in question, or who they were sold to.

Sao Tome and Principe lies in the Gulf of Guinea, about 240 km (150 miles) west of Gabon - one of the African continent's most active oil exploration areas. The country estimates that it has oil reserves likely to last 200 years, with production estimated at 500,000 bpd, bringing an annual revenue of $ 46 mm.
The former Portuguese colony in June reached an agreement with Equatorial Guinea to delimit their territorial waters. Before the deal, there were several incidents between the two countries regarding offshore oil drilling.

Source: The Associated Press via Newspage
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