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N'DJAMENA, Chad -- Two oil companies -- Chevron Corp. and Petronas -- were told to leave the country by Chad president Idriss Deby, citing that neither company has paid taxes for the oil fields that the state will now oversee, reported The Associated Press.
The announcement, made on the state-run radio Saturday, gave the companies just 24 hours to make plans to leave. "Chad has decided that as of tomorrow, Chevron and Petronas must leave Chad because they have refused to pay their taxes," Deby said on the radio announcement. In addition, Deby said that the country -- a new player in the oil production market that is seeking to set up a national oil company -- would take over the oil fields that were overseen by the two companies, amounting to 60 percent of the country's oil production, according to the AP report.
The announcement by Deby came just one day after a government spokesman, Hourmadji Moussa Doumgor, told the media that Deby wanted more profits from oil production, the AP reported.
But Chevron has not received any word from the government. "Chevron has not received any official notification from the Republic of Chad government asking Chevron to leave the country over tax issues … However, Chevron has been in full compliance with all of our tax obligations," said the statement issued by Chevron.
Both companies are a part of the country's oil production consortium led by ExxonMobil. Production and export of Chad's petroleum is overseen through the consortium. Spokesman for ExxonMobil, Mark D. Boudreaux, told the AP via email that neither ExxonMobil nor associate Esso Chad has been asked to leave. Forty percent of the country's production comes from ExxonMobil, while Chevron and Petronas both contribute 30 percent of the country's production.
From October 2003 to December 2005, the consortium exported more than 133 million barrels of oil from Chad, reported the AP. Chad received $307 million, or 12.5 percent per barrel from the oil exported in that time period.