Africa Oil & Gas: Sao Tome and Principe works on new petroleum code

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Sao Tome and Principe’s (STP) Minister of Infrastructure, Natural Resources and Environment is optimistic on the country’s oil operations saying that the government, through the customs, intends to make maximum profit from ongoing oil operations in the country, including exploration.

This will mean new petroleum codes for the country as it wants to improve its procedures for customs clearance and taxation of oil operations. According to reports, this could result in an innovative petroleum code that benefits both the government and exploration companies. In addition, the plan involves updating the regime to be applied to local companies and those in the sub-region that are interested in exploration.

According to Orlando Sousa Pontes, the director general of the National Petroleum Agency (ANP), the government’s desire to better regulate the sector is timely. “The oil companies, which collected seismic data in the Exclusive Economic Zone in 2017, have encountered difficulties with the arrival and departure of equipment, because of the shortcomings, ambiguities and inaccuracies of the customs regime,” he explained.

The country has an Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), which is home to exploratory firms and has vast potential for oil and gas.

By the end of this year, the first wells will be drilled in the EEZ, which will mean that a lot of equipment such as platforms will enter the country and that the government intends to take advantage of it to boost its revenues.

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