Cameroon in Talks to Start Bakassi Oil Prospecting

YAOUNDE, Cameroon (Dow Jones Newswires), October 8, 2008

Cameroon's state-run National Hydrocarbons Corporation, or SNH, said Wednesday it is in talks with several drillings firms to start prospecting for oil in the hydrocarbon-rich Bakassi peninsula.

"We have to start prospecting for oil in the Bakassi zone and the Bolongo zone. These are supposed to be fertile zones," SNH Director of Exploration Simon Tamfu told Dow Jones Newswires.

"Bidders are already coming in to examine the data we have, and after that, we expect to sign contracts with them," he said, without naming any companies involved.

Bakassi, an area of some 1,000 square kilometers believed to contain oil and gas reserves, has been the subject of a dispute for 15 years between Cameroon and Nigeria.

Cameroon gained full ownership of Bakassi in mid-August, but unrest continues, with rebels attacking Cameroonian troops and their installations.

Officially, Cameroon produces around 85,000 barrels of oil a day.  

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