Chad Cameroon pipeline

Chad Cameroon pipeline

From the Financial Times:

The World Bank has withdrawn from a $4bn pipeline project in Chad, once billed as a model for transparent management of oil wealth in Africa, after years of increasingly acrimonious disputes with the government.

World Bank support for the project, which includes a 1,070km pipeline through neighbouring Cameroon, played a crucial role in persuading a consortium of ExxonMobil, ChevronTexaco and Petronas of Malaysia to go ahead with one of the largest capital investments in Africa. Chad now pumps about 170,000 b/d from its southern oilfields, which have also attracted interest from Chinese companies.

The World Bank helped finance the government’s participation in the scheme on condition it invested in sectors such as public works, education, health and agriculture, channelling oil money through an escrow account at Citibank in London.

But in the years after the first oil began flowing in 2003, President Idriss Déby challenged the terms of the initial agreement to give him a freer hand in spending what now amounts to about $1.4bn (€1bn, £800m) a year of oil revenue. … Analysts said Mr Déby wanted to liberate more funds to equip his security forces to fight rebels backed by neighbouring Sudan  …

“This project shows you that you can’t put technocratic fixes in places like Chad and expect them to work,” said Ian Gary, senior policy adviser for extractive industries at Oxfam America. “You need to see the development of real democratic institutions.”

Additional coverage from the BBC.