By Abdi Latif Dahir*
Chad exports its crude oil via a 1,000-kilometer pipeline that carries it to an Atlantic port in Cameroon. Exxon manages the pipeline, and the court documents also name Chevron and Malaysia’s Petronas as part of the case.
“We disagree with the Chadian court’s ruling and are evaluating next steps,” Exxon Mobil spokesman told Bloomberg.
In 2006, president Idriss Deby gave Chevron and Petronas 24 hours to leave the country for failing to pay taxes. The case was later settled. Yet in March 2014, the government filed another legal claim against the Exxon Mobil-led consortium for more than $800 million in unpaid taxes.
Chad appears to be following in the steps of its neighbor Nigeria in dealing firmly with large multinationals. MTN, Africa’s largest phone company, was ordered to pay Nigeria $5.2 billion last year for failing to disconnect its unregistered sim cards. The company reached an agreement in June this year to pay a record $1.7 billion.