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Drilling of oil at Congo's new field will adhere to environmental standards - Sassou Nguesso

Republic of the Congo

Congolese President Denis Sassou Nguesso promised Wednesday to exploit the discovered hydrocarbon field in the Cuvette region (north) in an environmentally friendly way, in a message on public television.

“I take note (…) of the successful completion of the oil exploration operations carried out under the Ngoki permit, highlighting the presence of quality oil reserves in the northern part of our country,” said Mr. Sassou Nguesso.

On August 10, two oil companies presented the characteristics of the first onshore oil field discovered in the Cuvette region.

Mr. Sassou Nguesso said that the discovered deposit is located on the periphery of wetlands that support peatlands.

“Congo remains fully aware of the need to preserve peatlands, given their impact on global climate balance and the protection of biodiversity,” the Congolese president stressed.

“Our country has never violated the obligation to protect peatlands in its lake areas. It has no intention of doing so in the future, notwithstanding the financial compensation announced and still to be received,” he said.

The president was speaking in a speech related to the celebration of the 59th anniversary of the independence of Congo, a former French colony, on August 15.

The “Delta de la Cuvette” deposit covers an area of 9,392 square metres and could produce up to one billion cubic metres of hydrocarbons, including 359 million barrels of oil, or 983,000 barrels per day.

The share of the Congolese State that granted a permit in 2006 amounts to 35%.

Two oil companies own the Delta de la Cuvette. These two firms belong to Congolese businessman Claude Wilfrid Etoka, who is very close to President Sassou Nguesso. Both are from this region.

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