Chad-Cameroon Petroleum Development and Pipeline Project

The Chad-Cameroon Petroleum Development and Pipeline Project is a controversial project to develop the production capacity of oilfields near Doba in southern Chad, and to create a 1,070km pipeline to transport the oil to facilities on the coast of Cameroon. The project was launched on October 18, 2000. It is operated by ExxonMobil, and also sponsored by Petronas and ChevronTexaco.

It was largely funded by multilateral and bilateral credit financing provided by Western governments. Debt based financing came from the International Finance Corporation in the amount of US$100 million, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group and the French export credit agency, COFACE, and the US-Exim Bank which will each provided US$200 million. IFC-coordinated private lenders offered a further US$100 million.

The project has been plagued by persistent charges and fears about corruption and the diversion of revenues--ostensibly intended for poverty reduction--towards arms purchases, particularly by the regime of Chadian President Idriss Déby. Opposition leader and parliamentarian Ngarledjy Yorongar of the Front of Action Forces for the Republic (FAR) accused National Assembly President Wadal Abdelkader Kamougue of taking a bribe from Elf, then a partner in the project, in 1997. Yorongar was stripped of his parliamentary immunity and detained for nine months. In November 2000, the World Bank announced that $4 million of a $25 million signing bonus from the oil companies was spent by the Chadian government on weapons. The World Bank required tight restrictions on oil revenues as a condition of its loans. In January 2006, Chad moved to unilaterally increase the portion of oil revenues going to its general fund from 15 to 30 percent.

On 28 August 2006, President Déby ordered ChevronTexaco and Petronas to quit the country.

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