Taiwan to secure Chad's oil

Aug 01, 2006 02:00 AM

Taiwan, seeking to secure oil supply from Africa, would send its premier to Chad to make sure the war-torn country honours its promise to sell oil to Taiwan. Premier Su Tseng-Chang would lead a delegation to Chad on August 6. Delegation members would include trade officials and Pan Wen-Yen, chairperson of the state oil monopoly Chinese Petroleum Corp (CPC).
Chad granted Taiwan's China National Petroleum Corp. 25 % exploration rights in Block H oil field in 2003, but delayed signing the oil exploration contract with Taiwan's CPC until January this year, triggering speculation that Chad was warming up to China.

Last October, CPC opened a representative office in Chad and donated $ 3.79 mm to Chad in the name of developing cultural activities and a power industry. In January, Chad finally signed the four-year contract. Under the deal, CPC and Chadian oil companies would drill for oil in three areas, including the Lake Chad basin and the Doba basin, with CPC planning to invest $ 30 mm in the project.
But the joint exploration was suspended in April when civil war broke out in Chad. Su's visit was to speed up the oil exploration and to prevent Chad from signing any deals with China when Hu Deping, vice-chairperson of the China Chamber of Commerce, visits Africa in early August. Taiwan's President Chen Shui-Bian might include Chad when on his stops when he visits Africa in November.

Taiwan was recognised by only 25 -- mostly small -- nations and six of them were in Africa. China, which sees Taiwan as its breakaway province, has bullied Taiwan's diplomatic allies into switching recognition from Taipei to Beijing.
Chad produces around 160,000 bpd, a relatively small amount, but its value has grown for the country as world oil prices have soared to near-historic highs.

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