[QODLink]
Africa

Chad withdraws Chinese exploration permits

Government cancels five permits issued to Chinese oil company CNPC in row over $1.2bn fine for environmental violations.

Last updated: 10 Aug 2014 14:42
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Oil revenues have allowed Chad to modernise its army and improve its road networks and public infrastructure [AFP]

Chad has decided to withdraw five exploration permits issued to a Chinese company and press charges in a row over a $1.2bn fine for environmental violations, the oil ministry has said.

Djerassem Le Bemadjiel, Chad's oil minister, told a news conference on Saturday that the move was "to avoid further environmental degradation, not to make place for other companies".

The China National Petroleum Company (CNPC) was forced to suspend operations in Chad in May after refusing to pay a fine of $1.2bn for "unacceptable practices" that had led to "noxious spills" around drilling sites.

The government of the large central African nation also said it planned to press charges against the CNPC both in Ndjamena and in France, whose commercial court has a chamber specialising in international disputes.

"Amicable negotiations are no longer possible. All efforts have been in vain," government secretary general Abdoulaye Sabre told the news conference.

"Next week a government delegation will go to Paris to file a complaint with the commercial court for refusal to pay a fine."

A second complaint has been made in the capital Ndjamena for "environmental degradation and endangering the lives of others," he added.

Chad, which began exploiting its oil deposits in 2003, has a history of difficult relations with Chinese companies operating on its soil.

In March, Chadians working for one of the Chinese companies went on strike to denounce their working conditions and demand salary increases.

Oil revenues have allowed the country to modernise its army and improve its road networks and public infrastructure.

However, parts of civil society are urging the government to use more of the new oil wealth to improve the living conditions of the population.

281

Source:
Agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Muslim volunteers face questioning and threat of arrest, while aid has been disrupted or blocked, charities say.
Six months on, outrage and sorrow over the mass schoolgirl abduction has disappeared - except for families in Nigeria.
ISIL combatants seeking an 'exit strategy' from Mideast conflict need positive reinforcement back home, analysts say.
European nation hit by a wave of Islamophobia as many young fighters join ISIL in Syria and Iraq.
Featured
Lacking cohesive local ground forces to attack in tandem, coalition air strikes will have limited effect, experts say.
Hindu right-wing groups run campaign against what they say is Muslim conspiracy to convert Hindu girls into Islam.
Six months on, outrage and sorrow over the mass schoolgirl abduction has disappeared - except for families in Nigeria.
Muslim caretakers maintain three synagogues in eastern Indian city, which was once home to a thriving Jewish community.
Amid fresh ISIL gains, officials in Anbar province have urged the Iraqi government to request foreign ground troops.