24 May 2014, News Wires – China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) has seen all its exploration and production activity in Chad suspended over alleged environmental abuses, according to a report.
The African country’s Oil Ministry gave notice of suspension to the Chinese giant’s local subsidiary after it allegedly failed to take appropriate steps to meet environmental standards, Reuters reported.
Oil Minister Djerassem Le Bemadjiel first halted CNPC’s operations in August last year, claiming the company did not have the right equipment to clean up a serious oil spill and wanted to save money, and instead allowed the oil to fall into huge pits before it was removed by local workers without protective clothing.
Reuters quoted Le Bemadjiel as saying on Thursday: “Despite a first suspension imposed on the company in August 2013, unacceptable practices such as land-filling polluted sites without cleaning them, has continued.”
Calls to the relevant department at CNPC on Friday went unanswered.
Following the mid-August suspension, Chad soon gave the green light for CNPC to resume exploration at its Koudalwa field south of the capital, N’Djamena, after improvements were made to practices in the field.
Imposing the $1.2 billion fine in March, Chad also demanded that CNPC’s unit takes steps to repair all damage and future damage caused through pollution of the Bongor basin.
CNPC took over acreage in Block H formerly held by Canada’s EnCana International in 2007 and has since made several discoveries.
The Chinese player began construction of a 300-kilometre pipeline in 2009, to carry 1 million tonnes per annum of crude from the Koudalwa field to the Djaramaya refinery close to N’Djamena, also operated by CNPC, and which commissioned first throughput in 2011.
Koudalwa lies near Bongor in the Loug-Chari region, north-east of the ExxonMobil-operated oilfields in the Doba basin that send crude south through Cameroon to the Kribi export terminal.