The Chinese oil and gas group that owns Addax Petroleum is considering leaving Gabon and Nigeria to concentrate its African activities exclusively in Cameroon, where its financial health is better and its reputation still intact.
Addax Petroleum in Gabon is soon over. Its owner Sinopec would consider selling its onshore and offshore assets, as well as those of Nigeria, according to AFP. The Chinese oil and gas group has already “hired” BNP Paribas, to help it carry out future transactions in both countries, believes the site Businesslive.co.za. This media recalls that the research, over the past 8 years, of assets abroad by major Chinese oil companies “was intended to boost their energy reserves and meet the future demand of China.” Only, for more than three years, the crisis of the world oil industry helping, their ambitions were strongly revised down and their hopes showered by a price of the barrel which stagnates at about 27 dollars since 2014.
Faced with the crisis, Sinopec would no longer wish to keep in Africa only its assets in Cameroon. Especially in recent months, tensions have arisen in Nigeria, where Addax Petroleum’s facilities have been damaged by protesters. In the same country, company officials, Yi Zhang (the executive director) and Guus Klusener (the legal director), were recently accused of maintaining suspicious links with the authorities.
The two executives were “suspected of having participated in payments of several tens of millions of dollars to third parties in Nigeria. Justice suspects that these payments, which may have been used as bribes for Nigerian officials, took place in a tax dispute between Addax and the Nigerian authorities, “said in March 2017. , the Swiss newspaper La Tribune de Genève. Sinopec’s solution to “breaking the links” would therefore be to leave this country.
In Gabon, the situation of Sinopec’s subsidiary is no better. In addition to the current crisis, relations between the Gabonese state and Addax Petroleum have frequently been shaken by various cases (non-payment of TV, false counting of barrels). Each time, the Chinese operator was forced to pull out his checkbook, like the 400 million dollars (about 200 billion CFA francs) paid to the country to recover the deposit of Obangue, requisitioned in 2013.
The assets for sale in Gabon are a combination of onshore (Dinonga, Irondou and Koula / Damier) and offshore (Etam) license areas, with six productive fields in total.