Oil­ing the Gears

De­vel­op­ment of African na­tions gains mo­men­tum with help from a Chi­nese petroleum giant

Beijing Review - - WORLD - By Deng Yaqing

Deep in the in­te­rior of Cen­tral Africa lies the Repub­lic of Chad, a coun­try de­pen­dent on agri­cul­ture for most of its rev­enue. Below the sur­face, it has abun­dant re­serves of petroleum, but it was not un­til the Chi­nese oil and gas giant China Na­tional Petroleum Corp. (CNPC) be­gan pro­duc­tion there in 2011 that the coun­try fi­nally re­al­ized en­ergy self-suf­fi­ciency.

When CNPC first set foot in Chad 15 years ago, do­mes­tic oil con­sump­tion in the coun­try was heav­ily de­pen­dent on im­ports. In Septem­ber 2007, a bi­lat­eral agree­ment was reached to build a joint-stock re­fin­ery plant, mark­ing the start­ing point of Chi­naChad petroleum co­op­er­a­tion.

As the Nd­ja­mena re­fin­ery plant went into pro­duc­tion in June 2011, Pres­i­dent Idriss Déby Itno de­scribed how his coun­try had won the vic­tory of en­ergy in­de­pen­dence, which he at­trib­uted to Chad’s sig­nif­i­cant part­ner­ship with China.

Now, the CNPC op­er­a­tion cov­ers the en­tire petroleum in­dus­trial chain in Chad, rang­ing from ex­plo­ration and de­vel­op­ment, pipe­line trans­porta­tion, re­fin­ing and stor­age, pro­ject con­struc­tion and tech­nol­ogy ser­vices.

This type of suc­cess story is not con­fined to Chad. CNPC’S co­op­er­a­tion with Su­dan be­gan back in 1995, and that pro­ject has now be­come the largest and most suc­cess­ful CNPC over­seas ven­ture. In Niger, a com­plete petroleum in­dus­trial sys­tem has taken shape un­der a part­ner­ship with CNPC, al­low­ing the coun­try to not only re­al­ize oil self-suf­fi­ciency, but also earn for­eign ex­change through oil ex­ports. Now, the petroleum in­dus­try is the back­bone of the lo­cal econ­omy. Be­sides Chad and Niger, the CNPC West African branch has also seen its op­er­a­tions spread into Al­ge­ria, Mozam­bique and Tu­nisia.

Solid progress

With sup­port from a Cha­dian part­ner and its stake­hold­ers, CNPC has de­vel­oped two ex­plo­ration and ex­trac­tion pro­jects, two crude oil pipe­line pro­jects and the Nd­ja­mena re­fin­ery that can pro­duce gaso­line, diesel, avi­a­tion fuel, fuel oil, liq­ue­fied nat­u­ral gas and polypropy­lene.

By the end of July this year, the com­pany had de­vel­oped six oil fields in Chad and trans­ported 13.24 mi l l i on tons of crude oil. Its an­nual oil pro­duc­tion has main­tained steady growth in re­cent years and i s ex­pected to reach 4 mil­lion tons t h i s year. Com­pany data show that in the near fu­ture, petroleum ex­plo­ration and de­vel­op­ment ca­pac­ity in Chad will reach 6 mil­lion tons.

Go­ing from risk ex­plo­ration to largescale de­vel­op­ment in Chad, CNPC says it rou­tinely fol­lows the prin­ci­ple of seek­ing qual­ity and ef­fi­ciency while main­tain­ing sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment.

“CNPC’S oil ex­plo­ration and de­vel­op­ment ac­tiv­i­ties in Africa are guided by the con­cepts of mu­tual ben­e­fit and win-win co­op­er­a­tion. The com­pany strictly fol­lows lo­cal poli­cies, laws and reg­u­la­tions, and up­holds a multi­na­tional cor­po­rate cul­ture of mu­tual re­spect, open­ness and com­pat­i­bil­ity,” said Chen Shudong, Gen­eral Man­ager of CNPC In­ter­na­tional, West Africa Ltd. (Chad).

Chad has now seen a steady do­mes­tic sup­ply of oil prod­ucts from the Nd­ja­mena re­fin­ery, and ex­ports part of the out­put to neigh­bor­ing coun­tries, lay­ing a solid foun­da­tion for the na­tion’s econ­omy and strength.

In Niger, CNPC’S West Africa branch had paid over $1 bil­lion in taxes to the gov­ern­ment by the end of 2017. As of May this year, the com­pany has pro­duced 5.28 mil­lion tons of crude oil in the coun­try, ac­cord­ing to CNPC statis­tics.

Cor­po­rate re­spon­si­bil­i­ties

In Su­dan and South Su­dan, CNPC has been ful­fill­ing its so­cial re­spon­si­bil­i­ties by en­gag­ing in well-planned ac­tiv­i­ties to pro­vide pub­lic ben­e­fits. The com­pany has in­vested $120 mil­lion to sup­port the de­vel­op­ment of agri­cul­ture, ed­u­ca­tion, cul­ture, med­i­cal care and in­fra­struc­ture, benefiting more than 2 mil­lion African peo­ple.

By pro­mot­ing the in­te­gra­tion of di­verse cul­tures within the com­pany, em­ploy­ees with dif­fer­ent cul­tural back­grounds can un­der­stand and trust each other and live in har­mony with lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties, said Chen.

In the hin­ter­land of Niger in the Sa­hara Desert, the short­age of wa­ter is an ob­vi­ous

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