African Oil Industry Denounces BBC Programme’s Attack on Senegal’s Mining Deal

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The African Energy Chamber (AEC), the voice of Africa’s energy sector, has rejected recent accusations made by the BBC Panorama program with regard to the procurement of two mining blocks in Senegal.

The Chamber was referring to a report on BP’s acquisition of oil mining blocks in Senegal, which had been scrutinized by Panorama, a current affairs programme, featuring interviews and investigative reports.

The AEC responded by saying the acquisition is well in line with the current tendering processes applied in Senegal.

“Prior to its acquisition of the Cayar Profond and St Louis Profond offshore concessions, BP conducted extensive and appropriate due diligences to ascertain the ownership and operation of the block. This was the same with Kosmos Energy,” the Chamber said in a recent address.

The regulator believes the case is about “a sinister rush to judgment, an obsession to taint a reform-driven President and the oil industry at any cost and by any means, and certainly without an understanding of the facts and how the oil industry works.”

Commenting on the issue, the AEC stated that “truth and an understanding of the oil industry should be the number one priority rather than overlooking and manufacturing evidence.”

“Taking into consideration BP and Kosmos Energy’s strong compliance practices and adherence to the U.S Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and the U.K Anti-Bribery and Corruption Act, it is unthinkable that either company would move ahead with the deals if there were any implication of wrongdoing in the award of the licenses. Kosmos Energy conducted a very intensive due diligence, which it sent to the U.S Securities and Exchange Commission for vetting and no wrongdoing was found,” the of African Energy Chamber said in its statement.

The Group announced that despite contradictory reports, all due processes were adhered to and the initial award of the block was made prior to President Macky Sall being elected President, and all investigations conducted by various Senegalese regulators revealed that all transactions were above board.

“President Macky Sall has been a reformer and pushed through market-driven policies that have made the future of Senegal’s oil industry a bright one and people-centered one,” stated NJ Ayuk, CEO of Centurion Law Group and Executive Chairman of the African Energy Chamber.

“Senegal at this moment must not be deprived of the millions of jobs that its oil sector will bring to the country. These attacks are meant to slow investment into oil industry’s projects and investment into Senegal,” added Ayuk.

Through their investments in the energy sector and the reforms by President Macky Sall, oil and gas production over the next 10 years would inject billions of dollars into the Senegalese economy and support more than 1 million jobs. In this regard, it is important that smart, pro-growth policies continue to be implemented to ensure growth, the AEC concluded.

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