Chad/Cameroon Development Project
Construction of the Chad/Cameroon Development Project began in late 2000. According to the Project Overview, the Chad/Cameroon Development Project "is developing oilfields in southern Chad, a landlocked country in west Africa, and building a 1,070 kilometer (663 miles) underground pipeline to a marine terminal off the coast of Cameroon. The pipeline is needed to export Chad's oil to world markets. As much as one billion barrels of crude will be produced over the 25- to 30-year life of the project.
"Chad does not have the financial capacity or the oil industry expertise to develop its energy resources by itself. Therefore, the country sought international private sector assistance in undertaking the project. A consortium comprised of affiliates of ExxonMobil, Petronas and ChevronTexaco agreed to sponsor the project , with ExxonMobil affiliate, EssoChad, serving as the operator. Construction costs are estimated at US$3.5 billion (2,275 billion Central African Francs or FCFA)."
"A workforce of as many as 11,000 people has been developing the oil fields in southern Chad and building the 1070-kilometer pipeline to the coast of Cameroon needed to export Chad's crude to world markets."
- Project Overview; includes maps.
- Project Information from World Bank.
- EssoChad News Media Fact Sheet.
- Project Quarterly Reports.
- Project Documentation.
The birth of the West African oil industry was announced in an October 5, 2003, news story (pdf)/(html) from Yaounde, Cameroon, by Associated Press Writer Emmanuel Tumanjong -- "1st Crude Shipped in West Africa Project":
The first oil tanker "carrying the first 950,000 barrels left the Cameroon port of Kribi for world markets on Friday," October 3. The oil, which originated in the "landlocked nation of Chad," arrived in Cameroon via a massive 665-mile pipeline constructed at a cost of $3.7 billion. "The pipeline project included development of 300 wells in the Doba oil fields in southern Chad. The oil fields are estimated to hold reserves of more than 900 million barrels."
The pipeline was "conceived in 1996" with support from the Bill Clinton administration... [and] developed by an international consortium, with ExxonMobile holding a 40 percent stake, Malaysia's Petronas 35 percent, and ChevronTexaco 25 percent." Funded in part by the World Bank (3%), the oil pipeline project is "aimed at developing West African oil as an alternative to Mideast supplies" ... [and represents] "the World Bank's largest-ever investment in sub-Saharan Africa." According to Tumanjong, the President George Walker Bush administration, "hopeful of lessening U.S. dependence on Mideast oil, has pushed development of West Africa's industry."
"West Africa, led by Nigeria, already supplies the United States with about one-fifth of its oil -- roughly equal to Saudi Arabia's share of the U.S. market."
"The World Bank has set up an independent monitoring panel to oversee accounting -- an unprecedented undertaking in a region known for corruption, plutocracy and environmental disasters. Other financiers include the European Investment Bank, US Export-Import Bank, the French export credit agency COFACE and a group of private banks led by Dutch ABN-Amro and Credit Agricole Indosuez."
"Backers say daily production will hit 250,000 barrels at peak and revenues could reach $2 billion for Chad and $500 million for Cameroon over the projected 25-year production period. ... Chad's leaders have pledged to invest the majority of expected oil revenues in programs to lift the country out of poverty and to develop health, educational, and agricultural sectors. ... International environmental organizations, notably in the United States and Germany, have called the project a danger to Cameroon's rain forest and to Pygmies living there."
According to MBendi Profile: Information for Africa, the "Related Organisations" for the Project are:
- Elf Aquitaine (17.3%)
- ExxonMobil Corporation (34.6%)
- Government of Cameroon (8.5%)
- Government of Chad (5%)
- Societe Shell du Cameroun (34.6%)
Also see MBendi Profile links and information on the Project.
From the Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL) web site:
"For several years before the [World] Bank approved the project on June 6, 2000, civil society organizations in Chad and Cameroon were calling for a moratorium on this project, asking that the Bank invest first in the infrastructure that is necessary for sustainable development: good governance, independent judiciary, rule of law, involvement of civil society in government decision-making, respect for human rights, and environmental protection. Without these safeguards in place, local communities believe that the Chad/Cameroon pipeline project is a recipe for disaster particularly in light of the poor human rights record and rampant corruption."
See CIEL's web site for numerous links and more information on the Chad/Cameroon Development Project.
Other Related SourceWatch Resources
- J. Anyu Ndumbe, The Chad-Cameroon Oil Pipeline: Hope for Poverty Reduction? Mediterranean Quarterly, 2003.
- Oil Project and Oil Pipeline Chad - Cameroon, OilWatch.org: "Exxon (Esso) and Shell, are combining forces with the French oil company Elf to launch the largest oil exploitation project in the African continent.... It is estimated that the reserves in the south of Chad comprise around 900 million barrels of oil. ...The World Bank is playing the principal role in the project. According to a confidential Exxon document, the financial aid of the World Bank will basically be through the International Development Agency, the lending agency for the poorest countries, and the International Financial Corporation, the arm of the World Bank that lends directly to the private sector."
- AIDS and the Chad-Cameroon Oil Pipeline Project, World Bank.
- chad-cameroon oil pipeline, Friends of the Earth International.
- Kathleen Grimes, Environmental Justice Case Study: The Chad/Cameroon Oil and Pipeline Project, University of Michigan.
- The Chad-Cameroon Oil Pipeline: Bankrolling a Human Rights & Environmental Disaster, Sustainable Energy & Economy Network.
- Tom Doggett, World Bank approves African oil pipeline loan, Reuters, June 7, 2000.
- David Rowan, Chad-Cameroon oil pipeline gets the go-ahead, wsws.org, August 21, 2000.
- Chad-Cameroon Oil Pipeline, European Investment Bank, June 27, 2001: "The Chad-Cameroon oil pipeline forms part of a project to develop the oil fields discovered in the 1970s in Southern Chad, and transport the oil through the Cameroon to an offshore terminal off the Atlantic coast.... The oil fields are to be developed and operated by an oil consortium of ExxonMobil, Petronas and Chevron that obtained a 30-year concession from the Government of Chad. Two special purpose companies, TOTCO and COTCO, joint ventures between the oil consortium and the Governments of Chad and Cameroon, have been established to build and operate the transport component of the project - a 1,070 km oil pipeline from the Doba oil fields to the Cameroon coast near Kribi, three pump stations, one pressure reduction station and an off-shore storage and loading facility."
- Shane Hough, The Chad-Cameroon Pipeline: Revenue and Economy vs. Environment and Population: "Chad Oil Pipeline to Cameroon and Its Impacts", TED Case Studies, Number 650: November, 2001.
- Cameroon-Chad: Concerns over oil-pipeline, africahome, August 8, 2002.
- Chad-Cameroon oil pipeline to begin flowing next week, AFP, July 10, 2003.
- Chad-Cameroon oil pipeline to bring wealth to african nations, africaonline, July 16, 2003: "The landlocked central African nation of Chad is becoming the world's newest petro-state."
- ExxonMobil Subsidiary Begins Pipeline Fill Operations on Chad Cameroon Project, EssoChad, July 28, 2003.