Chad has suspended all operations of the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) for causing environmental damage, Chad’s oil minister has told the BBC. Djerassem Le Bemadjiel said that CNPC was to blame for a massive oil spill in several sites near a forest.
Le Bemadjiel is quoted as saying the situation was “intolerable”, although he did not reveal how long the suspension would last. CNPC also runs an oil refinery in Chad’ capital city, N’Djamena. The AFP news agency reports that the oil minister took the decision after officials visited Koudalwa, which is 200 km south of N’Djamena, where CNPC was exploring for oil.
“It’s a very serious situation, it’s intolerable,” Le Bemadjiel told the BBC French Service, describing how trees had been destroyed. He said such violations were a crime, adding: “In the oil sector you don’t do this.”
Le Bemadjiel said that the Chinese exploration unit had dug hug trenches and let oil flow into them, and then had it removed by local workers without protective gear. He later warned that managers at the company would be held responsible for the violations.
The CNPC refinery, Djermaya, deals with about 15,000 barrels of oil a day from its operations in Koudalwa, producing fuel for the local market. It has been closed twice before due to disputes between the Chadian government and CNPC over pricing.
Chad became an oil-producing nation in 2003 with the completion of a $4 billion pipeline linking its oilfields to terminals on the Atlantic coast.
Read the full article at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-23697269
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