Thu, Jan 19, 2006 - Page 10 News List

CPC inks oil exploration deal with Chad

By Jessie Ho  /  STAFF REPORTER

The state-run Chinese Petroleum Corp (中油) yesterday signed a contract with the government of Chad through its unit the Overseas Petroleum and Investment Corp (OPIC, 海外石油及投資公司) to jointly explore oil in the country, a company statement said.

Chinese Petroleum will invest US$30 million in the four-year project for the rights to explore for oil and gas in the African country, the statement said.

The agreement allows Chinese Petroleum to explore and operate several mine fields, including one near Lake Chad, according to the statement. The fields measure a total of 26,250m2 and will yield 180,000 barrels of crude oil per day, with Chinese Petroleum being the manager of the investment project and the Chad government a partner, the statement said.

As prices of crude rise worldwide, it is crucial for Taiwan to control its own oil sources, the company said.

Taiwan depends on imports for almost all of its oil.

The contract was signed by OPIC chairman Chiu Chi-hsiung (邱吉雄), also a vice president of Chinese Petroleum, and Mahamat Nasser Hassane, Chad's minister of petroleum, yesterday in Taipei.

The government has been keen to ink a contract with ally Chad to secure a source of oil for two years.

As the world's major oil companies make 70 percent to 90 percent of their profits from exploring for oil, the investment is expected to help Chinese Petroleum to increase income, the company said, without providing figures.

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