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Thursday, August 31

Chad's president throws a tantrum at the World Bank: If you don't love me I'll go to Grandma's House!

Chad plays China against the US. Memorize this story -- the basic plot known to all cunning children with a doting grandparent living nearby -- because it's the shape of US efforts in the developing world for years to come.
The production and export of petroleum in Chad are overseen by the Exxon Mobil-led consortium. Under the mechanism, Exxon Mobil ... is responsible for 40 percent of the country's production, while Chevron has 25 percent and [Malaysia's] Petronas has 30 percent.

The three companies agreed to finance a $4.2 billion, 650-mile pipeline to deliver oil from landlocked Chad to a port in Cameroon.

The companies agreed to invest the money after the World Bank gave the project its support and after Chad passed a World Bank-backed oil revenue law that required most of the money to go to health, education and infrastructure projects. ...

But the venture has proved troubling for Chad, one of the poorest countries in the world. In January, the World Bank froze $125 million in oil revenue and cut $124 million in financial aid, accusing Chad of reneging on a promise to set aside part of its oil revenue to help citizens.

Last month, the government reached a deal with the bank and signed an accord to commit 70 percent of its budget to poverty and development programs. ..."

August 26, 2006
N'Djamena, Chad - Chad's president on Saturday ordered two oil companies, Chevron Corp. and Petronas, to leave the country, saying that neither had paid taxes and that his country would take responsibility for the oil fields they have overseen. [...]

If the two companies are evicted, Chad could seek help from China, which has taken an active interest in Africa in its search for raw materials, including oil and metals. Earlier this month, Chad broke off diplomatic relations with Taiwan and turned instead to China, a move that could help it sell its oil to the energy-hungry power. ...

California-based Chevron said in a statement Saturday that it had not been behind on any tax payments and had not been told it must leave Chad. ...

Mark D. Boudreaux, a spokesman for Exxon Mobil, told The Associated Press by e-mail that neither his company, nor affiliate Esso Chad has been asked to leave the country.

Chad's largest labor organization backed Deby's move, saying the country was being exploited by foreign oil companies, state-owned radio reported. However, opposition groups said on another radio station that only members of Deby's tribe - whose heartland is in the oil-rich north of the country - benefit from oil production.

Political scientist Roland Marchal, an expert in Chadian affairs, said Deby is unlikely to go through with the expulsion.

"Deby is playing both the nationalist card because he is saying that foreign companies are taking Chad's money, which is popular, and also that if these two companies are not flexible enough to come to a new agreement where Chad receives more money, then Deby can always talk to the Chinese ..."
Quotes compiled from two Associated Press reports filed by Madjiasra Nako: Chad Plans to Evict 2 Oil Firms Over Unpaid Taxes and Chad Suspends 3 Ministers Over Oil Deals

Of course Mom and Pop made a concession:
But the World Bank also agreed to allow 30 percent of oil revenue to go toward Chad's general treasury, instead of just 15 percent. Chad can use that money on whatever it wants -- including weapons.
And of course China's Grandma has very big teeth. But where there's life there's hope and negotiation:
August 30
Chad Panel to Renegotiate Oil agreements

N'Djamena, Chad (Associated Press)- Chad President Idriss Deby has formed a commission to renegotiate agreements with oil companies, after he ordered Chevron Corp. of the United States and Malaysia's Petronas out of the country for allegedly failing to pay taxes, his spokesman said Wednesday.

Deby signed a decree late Tuesday establishing the commission, presidential spokesman Dieudonne Djonabaye said. ...

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