Chad Sets Thursday Deadline for Petronas Unpaid Taxes

LONDON Sep 13, 2006 (Dow Jones Newswires)

Chad will stop delivering its share of crude oil to Petroliam Nasional Bhd., or Petronas, if it doesn't pay its taxes by a Thursday deadline, a presidential spokesman said Wednesday.

"They have until Sept. 14. If they don't pay, they'll stop getting oil," Dieudonne Djonabaye, head of communications at Chad's president office, told Dow Jones Newswires.

In late August Chad's President Idriss Deby ordered Chevron Corp. (CVX) and Malaysia's Petronas out of the country, saying they had failed to pay back taxes amounting to $450 million.

But Friday, Chevron agreed to pay additional taxes to the government of Chad and in return will be allowed to stay in an international consortium producing oil in the central African country.

The presidential spokesman said he was unaware of any talks with Petronas. The company didn't return an e-mailed request for comment.

Consortium members Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM), Chevron and Petronas financed a $4.2 billion, 1,060-kilometer pipeline from Chad to Cameroon's Atlantic port of Kribi. Exxon Mobil hasn't been asked to pay additional taxes.

Chevron has a 25% stake in the Chad pipeline consortium, while Petronas has a 35% stake and Exxon Mobil has 40%. The pipeline has capacity of 225,000 barrels a day.

Copyright (c) 2006 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

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