Cameroon and Nigeria agree joint development along part of their maritime boundary
(15 March 2011)
Reports indicate that Cameroon and Nigeria signed an agreement on 11 March 2010 to jointly develop several oil and gas fields located along their maritime boundary south of the Bakassi peninsula. After a complex ten year land and maritime boundary litigation, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) awarded sovereignty over Bakassi to Cameroon and delimited the resultant maritime boundary into the Gulf of Guinea in 2002. Technical problems with the ICJ's decision delayed implementation of the maritime boundary for several years.
The maritime boundary passes through some of the most prospective oil and gas areas in the Gulf of Guinea. The oil exploration company Addax Petroleum (a subsidiary of the Chinese oil giant Sinopec) holds the licenses for the Iroko concession area on the Cameroonian side of the maritime boundary and the Nigerian concession block OML 123 on the other. Although details of the joint development agreement are not yet available, it is likely that the two sides have agreed to coordinate regulations over the neighbouring concession blocks with Addax as the sole operating company and will share revenue from production. Both sides believe that harmonising procedures on both sides of the boundary will make procedures more efficient and expedite exploration. Addax will be familiar with joint development in the Gulf of Guinea as it also holds licenses to four blocks in the Nigeria-São Tomé and Príncipe joint development area.
Sources: 'Nigeria, Cameroon Plan Joint Oil Exploration in Bakassi' Chika Amanze-Nwachuku, This Day Live.com, 14 March 2011; 'Addax Petroleum likely candidate for Cameroon, Nigeria, oil deal' Emmanuel Tumanjong, Dow Jones Newswires, 13 March 2011.