Exxon ne­go­ti­at­ing with Chad over US$74b fine

The Sun (Malaysia) - - SUNBIZ -

N’DJAMENA: ExxonMo­bil Corp is ne­go­ti­at­ing with Chad over a record US$74 bil­lion (RM320.4 bil­lion) fine the US oil com­pany was told to pay by a court in the cen­tral African na­tion over un­paid roy­al­ties, Bloomberg re­ported on Tues­day.

Exxon has ap­pealed against the Oct 5 court rul­ing, but the ap­peals court hear­ing has been de­layed be­cause of the talks, Bloomberg re­ported, cit­ing a lawyer for Exxon. Exxon de­clined to com­ment.

The court de­ci­sion fined a consortium led by Exxon over 44 tril­lion CFA francs (US$73.44 bil­lion) – nearly four times BP’s Deep­wa­ter Hori­zon set­tle­ment and roughly seven times Chad’s an­nual gross do­mes­tic prod­uct.

The consortium, which in­cludes Malaysia’s Petro­liam Na­sional Bhd and Cha­dian oil com­pany SNT, were found to owe the coun­try nearly 484 bil­lion CFA francs (US$808 mil­lion) in roy­al­ties, ac­cord­ing to the court judg­ment. It did not ex­plain why the penalty amounted to more than 90 times that.

The un­paid roy­al­ties stem from a dis­pute over fees, sources in the Cha­dian fi­nance min­istry have told Reuters. The fi­nance min­istry is seek­ing a 2% roy­alty fee from the consortium, a rate the de­fen­dants have said is higher than the agreed level.

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