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The African oil industry denounces BBC Panorama’s attack on Senegal as a much Ado about nothing

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - EQS - 18
June 2019 - 
The African Energy Chamber rejects the accusations made
by the recent BBC Panorama program on Senegal and believes this 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.

 

It is important that in this rush to judgment,
truth and an understanding of the oil industry should be the number one
priority rather than overlooking and manufacturing evidence.

 

As
per the Senegalese Petroleum Code, BP's acquisition of the blocks 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.

 

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  that
either company would move ahead with the deals if there were any implication of
wrong doing in the award of the licenses. Kosmos Energy conducted a very
intensive  due diligence,  which it sent to the  to the U.S Securities and Exchange Commission
for vetting and no wrongdoing was found.

 

Finally,
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 from 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.

The
Senegalese people should not be fooled and we need to move away from rhetoric
to relevance, symbols to substance, populism and charisma to character
that provide pragmatic common-sense solutions to many who expect more from Senegal's
's oil and gas sector. Senegal is lucky to have leadership that have a clear
vision with an understanding of the success and mistakes of other African producers
like Nigeria, Ghana, Equatorial Guinea, Cameroon, Gabon, Angola and Congo among
others.  

 

The
oil industry is about risk. People who take risk need to be compensated. BP and
Kosmos Energy are strong companies with great plans for Senegal, and very good
track records in doing business in Africa. It is unfair for them to be
demonized in this fashion when all the facts are not reviewed.

 

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.

 

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