“(Business in Cameroon) - Malaysia’s state-owned oil giant Petronas is working with an adviser on the potential disposal of its 35% stake in the Chad project, with Exxon working with another adviser to sell their 40% stake as well,” Business Wire reported on March 10, quoting Michael Carter, Head of Global Equities at Osaka Matsui Management.
The project for sale includes oil fields in Chad and the Chad-Cameroon oil transporting pipeline.
According to Michael Carter, “the combined holdings of both oil companies could be worth over $1 billion.” Officially commissioned on October 3, 2003, the Chad-Cameroon pipeline is an important infrastructure for the transportation of crude oil from Chad to Kome terminal, in Kribi, for exportation. The over 1,000-km long infrastructure was funded by the World Bank and a consortium of oil firms including Exxon-Mobil, Petronas, and Chevron-Texaco. In 2014, Chevron-Texaco sold its stake in the project to the Chadian government.
According to experts, cashing in on the rise in oil prices in the international market, the consortium successfully recovered its initial investment of about XAF2,300 billion within three years after the pipeline was commissioned.
Meanwhile, Cameroon only received transit fees totaling XAF85.5 billion over the first 8 years of the pipeline’s operation, according to figures published in 2012, by the Pipeline Steering and Monitoring Committee (CPSP).
After arduous negotiations, the transit fees were revised upwards on October 29, 2013, so that Cameroon can better profit from the pipeline. Now, the transit fees are updated in a 5-year interval. The last update was made in 2018 and the next is scheduled for 2023.
Brice R. Mbodiam