In a memorandum signed on Friday, the two companies agreed to pay approximately $281.6 million once the Chad cabinet endorses the new memorandum, Emmanuel Nadingar, the oil minister said on Friday.

The figure is net of a $64 million exceptional tax credit, the government said in a statement.

Chad's government said: "Chevron and Petronas have agreed to pay companies tax totalling $281,649,974 for 2005 and three quarters of 2006."

 

Abbas Mahamat Tolli, Chad's finance minister, and Federick Neilson, Chevron's Africa director, also acting on behalf of Petronas, signed the memorandum on Thursday.

 

The memorandum re-establishes "the partnership between the Chadian government, Chevron and Petronas," Tolli said, after signing the document. 

 

Difficult chapter

 

Neilson said that with the memorandum they had closed a difficult chapter.

 

He said: "I hope that in the future we won't have such disputes."

 

The deal, reached during talks in N'Djamena, Chad's capital, ends a dispute in which Idriss Deby, Chad's president, asked both the companies to leave the country for refusing to pay taxes.

 

California-based Chevron and Malaysia's Petronas, do not have staff based in Chad and have delegated the responsibility of managing the day-to-day affairs of operations in Chad to Exxon Mobil, which leads the African country's oil production consortium.

 

Houston-based Exxon Mobil holds 40 per cent of the consortium, Petronas 35 per cent and Chevron 25 per cent.