posted by www.equatorialguineaonline.com – September 27th, 2012
An article published in a Spanish newspaper has come to the attention of the Government of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea, in which, under the title “Attack of the Spanish energy sector: China uses its networks in Guinea to exploit deposits once controlled by Repsol”, it refers to an alleged report of the Stratford intelligence agency obtained by the Spanish National Intelligence Center (CNI); the report accuses the Minister of Mines, Industry and Energy of Equatorial Guinea of having received money from Chinese companies in order to seize the deposits of the Spanish company Repsol, which, at the time, were granted by the Government of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea.
After analyzing these calumnious statements that conceal a clear intention to harm relations between Equatorial Guinea and Spain, and to once again erode the image of a member of the Government of our country, and once the appropriate inquiries were made, the Government of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea pointed out the following:
First, there has never been any action or intention to block the activity of the company Repsol in Equatorial Guinea.
Second, the Government informs that the company Repsol was awarded the right to operate the block C-1, whose seismic works were carried out by the Government, while the examination was conducted by the U.S. company Exxon Mobil, with the confirmation of the existence of oil.
Third, to the great surprise of the Government, five years after this grant and following the complete inactivity by Repsol, its leaders asked the Ministry of Mines for an extension of two years, which is not very common in the oil industry. On the other hand, while the Government of Equatorial Guinea studied that proposal, it was surprised by the information leaked in the Spanish press, according to which Repsol abandoned this concession, in force until December 2012.
Fourth, what is not surprising to the Government of Equatorial Guinea is the clumsy repetition of the same story from thirty years ago, since -if memory serves- another Spanish company was also involved in a similar situation requesting extensions and abandonment of oil and gas of the offshore platform throughout the country, after ten years of useless explorations. The oil that that company could not find is Equatorial Guinea’s bonanza today.
Fifth, it is for Repsol to explain to the public the reason for its departure from Argentina and why, for five years, it has not drilled an oil well, claiming financial problems and high tariff rates (6% in Equatorial Guinea, in a context in which the VAT is 21% in Spain).
For all these reasons, the Government of Equatorial Guinea expresses its strongest rejection and condemnation of the capricious intention of this false information, which attempts to incite division and fighting within a respectable Equatorial Guinean family, inventing “pro- and anti-Western and Spanish” inclinations, which have nothing to do with the reality and objectivity of Equatorial Guinea’s foreign policy.
Also in this regard, and given that the article in question specifically mentions the People’s Republic of China, it is the view of the Government that such insinuations, in addition to being completely ridiculous and lacking in substance, constitute a flagrant interference in the relations between two sovereign countries.
For the people as well as the Spanish Government, the Government of Equatorial Guinea reiterates its readiness to continue cooperating for the benefit of both countries. As proof, the Ministry of Mines, Industry and Energy will receive, at the end of next October, a gas-transporting ship constructed by Galician shipyards built and funded by the Government of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea.
OFFICE OF THE MINISTER SPOKESMAN OF THE GOVERNMENT