Exxon May Have Chad, Cameroon Buyer

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The UK's Savannah Energy says it is in talks with Exxon Mobil to buy the supermajor’s upstream and midstream interests in Chad and Cameroon. Like other majors, Exxon is keen to divest noncore, mature or risky assets. It has been trying to sell a number of assets in the West Africa region from Equatorial Guinea to Nigeria, albeit with little progress so far. The assets in Chad consist of a 40% operated interest in the Doba oil fields and a similar stake in the oil pipeline linking Doba to the port of Kribi in Cameroon. The operating environment in Chad has become riskier after the April death of its military leader of the last 30 years, Idriss Deby. While Deby proved an arbitrary and unreliable host to oil investors, his death is expected to alter the precarious balance of power in this turbulent country and could weaken the resistance to Islamist militants advancing in the broader Sahel region (IOD Apr.20'21). Savannah, which has stranded oil reserves in neighboring Niger to the west and produces gas in Nigeria to the southwest, is no stranger to risk or trying to punch above its weight. The UK company is relying on a China National Petroleum Corp. (CNPC) project to build a 2,000 km pipeline from CNPC's own oil fields in Niger's Agadem Basin through Benin to the coast to monetize Savannah’s reserves in Niger. In the past, CNPC had considered a 600 km line linking Agadem to Doba. It is unclear whether Savannah would revive such a plan if it purchased Exxon's Chad assets (IOD Jul.12'18).

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