[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
Swathes of the British electorate continue to show discontent with all things European, including immigration.
Astronomers have captured images of primordial galaxies that helped light up the cosmos after the Big Bang.
Critics assail British photographer's portrayal of indigenous people, but he says he's highlighting their plight.
As Western stars re-release 1980s charity hit, many Africans say it's a demeaning relic that can do more harm than good.
Featured
Remnants of deadly demonstrations to be displayed in a new museum, a year after protests pushed president out of power.
No one convicted after 58 people gunned down in cold blood in 2009 in the country's worst political mass killing.
While hosting the World Internet Conference, China tries Tiananmen activist for leaking 'state secrets' to US website.
Once staunchly anti-immigrant, some observers say the conservative US state could lead the way in documenting migrants.
NGOs say women without formal documentation are being imprisoned after giving birth in Malaysia.