Senegal activists raise concerns over oil exploration

 07 May 2017 - 9:56

Senegal activists raise concerns over oil exploration

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DAKAR, Senegal: Activists in Senegal have raised concerns over the tussle for oil and gas exploration rights by two petroleum giants in the country.

Oil and gas producer African Petroleum belonging to Australian Romanian billionaire Frank Timis on Wednesday said it still holds 90 percent of the rights to explore oil and gas in the country a day after French oil giant Total said it has signed an exploration contract for the same oil production .

Alhassane Bah, national coordinator of Senegal’s Pan Africanist branch One Africa told Anadolu Agency: "The early struggle for ownership of exploration rights by these two giants sends the wrong signal of high foreign interests. I don’t care who is right or wrong. But how can our government give 90 percent of the rights to these foreign companies.

On Tuesday, President Macky Sall fired Minister of Oil and Energy Thierno Alassane Sall -- no relation to the president -- a day before the two statements were issued by both companies. The government press release did not explain why the minister was dismissed.

The Rufisque Offshore Profond oil and gas reserves will be jointly explored with state firm Société Nationale des Pétroles du Sénégal (Petrosen) holding just 10 percent.

According to Mamadou Faye of Petrosen, between 250 million to 2.5 billion barrels of oil of varying grades are estimated to be discovered.