21 November 2016, Luanda – Evidence has reached Maka Angola that Sonangol’s debts to major oil corporations are far in excess of the US $300 million owed to Chevron as reported last month.
Faced with a Sonangol news release that noted the Chevron monies were “under review” prior to payment, other foreign creditors have grown anxious about the multi-million sums they too are owed.
Maka Angola has been supplied with figures showing unpaid cash calls to three other oil majors operating in the Angolan oilfields. They reveal that as of October 2016, Sonangol owed its creditors at over one billion US dollars.
To date, Sonangol has only effected payments to companies owned by associates of President José Eduardo dos Santos and his daughter, Isabel dos Santos, the current Sonangol President.
resident dos Santos sacked the previous Sonangol board and installed his daughter back in June, in a move that shocked the global oil industry given the clear conflict of interest. In the intervening months, the crisis at Sonangol has worsened considerably, with grave implications for the health of the entire Angolan economy which is heavily reliant on oil and gas revenues.
Clearly stung by the unwelcome publication by Maka Angola of Sonangol’s parlous financial state, Isabel dos Santos issued a news release, blaming the low global price of oil for the delay. Ingenuously, the Sonangol Board suggested that its accounting processes were somehow impeded by the “fall in the price of oil, which implies longer times for analysis and validation of the spending and invoices related to costs and investments”.
The amount owed to Chevron alone has risen to US $380 million leading to a threat to trigger the relevant clause in their Joint Operations Agreement to allow Chevron to sell Sonangol’s 40 percent quota of Block 0 output for its own benefit instead of handing it over.
- Maka Angola