Offshore oil triggers African talks

Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo) are at loggerheads over access to offshore oil.
DR Congo, which produces relatively little oil – largely due to years of fierce internal conflict – has told the Reuters news agency that a border dispute between the two countries is depriving it of as much as 200,000 barrels a day.

The two countries are in talks over the dispute, which DR Congo says is blocking its access to deepwater blocks it holds offshore.

Angola, in turn, says it has sent technical experts to work with its Congolese neighbours to reach a solution.

Offshore powerhouse

Congo’s oil industry may still be small – about 25,000 barrels a day are retrieved offshore, in collaboration with Total SA and ChevronTexaco. But Angola is rapidly becoming one of Africa’s oil powerhouses.

Its current 900,000 barrel a day production is expected to double in the next five years, and oil majors are eagerly prospecting off the Angolan coast.

The income from the trade is great enough to have triggered rows with the International Monetary Fund, which has accused senior officials of creaming off as much as a billion dollars a year from oil revenues.

Bron: BBC News, 27-05-2003;