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CHAD-CAMEROON PIPELINE : SNH to Increase its Shares in Cotco to 35 %

This is the substance of a correspondence sent by The Director General of the National Hydrocarbons Company (SNH), Adolphe Moudiki has made a correspondence to the Chadian Minister of Hydrocarbons and Energy, asking for an increase of it’s shares in Cameroon Oil Transportation Campany (Cotco S.A).

In a correspondence dated June 02, addressed to the Chadian Minister of Hydrocarbons and Energy, Djerassem Le Bemadjiel, Adolphe Moudiki formulates the wish to acquire 20% of Chad’s shares in this company in charge of works on the Chad-Cameroon Pipeline. “I am formulating, on behalf of the Republic of Cameroon and in accordance with the mandate entrusted to me by the President of the Republic (…), Cameroon’s request for a handover to its benefit of 20% of the 53% held by Chad in COTCO’s share capital,” writes Adolphe Moudiki.

If enacted, the shares of both States “would be 35.17% for Cameroon and 33.77% for Chad, in line with the initial participations in the project namely 8.50% for Cameroon and 5.00% for Chad”, continues the latter.

The SNH Administrator backs his request on the decision of the Economic and Monetary Community of Central African States (Cemac) Commission approving the purchase of Petronas’ oil assets in Chad by the Société des hydrocarbures du Tchad (SHT), which now owns 53.7% of Cotco shares. He also points out that the Republic of Chad has made the following commitment to obtain the agreement of Cemac : the maintenance of the representation of Cotco’s shareholders on the Board of Directors ; the limitation of Chadian shareholders to four on Cotco’s Board of Directors ; the appointment of shareholders of the other directors in minority, among other things. The SNH wants to believe, at this stage, that Chad intends to materialize the aforementioned commitments”.

While waiting for the response of the Chadian authorities, Adolphe Moudiki asks Chad to “make sure to let Cotco operate serenely, in order to avoid a possible crisis in the shareholding seriously affecting the functioning of this strategic company for both states”.

Since May 24, 2023, the social climate at Cotco has deteriorated. During a board meeting in Paris, Savannah Energy appointed Nicolas de Blanpré as CEO of Cotco. The newly promoted is none other than the former CEO of the Chadian subsidiary of Savannah Energy, expelled from N’Djamena in December 2022 following the conflict with Chad over the takeover of Exxon Mobil’s assets in the country.

Chad subsequently decided to suspend transfers of funds to foreign countries from the funds of Cotco S.A. The Director General of SNH, in his capacity as shareholder, requests the Minister of Hydrocarbons for the convocation of a general meeting so as to reach final resolutions. According to him, the SNH did not participate in any general assembly, and considers decisions made in previous meetings are one sided and thus, not regular.

The dark cloud that hung over diplomatic relations between Cameroon and Chad because of the Savannah case has now dissipated. The ambassador of Chad to Cameroon, Djidda Moussa Outhman returned to his post in Yaoundé on June 7, 2023, after his recall “in consultation” on April 20, due to a misunderstanding Chadian oil transiting through Cameroon. This decision by the Chadian authorities marks the return to calm after the crisis between the two states which crystallized the attention of public opinion.

Sorelle Ninguem

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