Uganda Lawmakers Consider Suspending Tullow Oil Deal

KAMPALA (Dow Jones Newswires), Oct. 11, 2011

Ugandan lawmakers Tuesday opened debate on a motion to compel the government to stay the approval of U.K.-based Tullow Oil's $2.9 billion sale of its interests in the country to France's Total and China's CNOOC amid tax disputes and graft allegations.

A vote was expected late Tuesday afternoon.

The development threatens Tullow's deal with Cnooc and Total. Some lawmakers called for investigations into allegations that Tullow made hefty payments to Ugandan government officials to sway key decisions in its favor. Tullow has vigorously denied the allegations.

Ugandan lawmakers have criticized the deal on numerous counts, including allegations of graft against Tullow. They have also said Uganda should hold off on advancing the project until long-standing tax disputes are resolved with foreign oil companies.

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