Chad's nationalization of the 1000-km oil pipeline between Chad and Cameroon has led to a full-blown legal and diplomatic crisis between the two neighboring African countries, coming on the heels of ExxonMobil's decision to divest from its hydrocarbon operations in December of last year.
In the latest escalation of the dispute over the sale of ExxonMobil's assets in these countries to London listed Savannah Energy, Chad has recalled its ambassador to Cameroon. In an official statement, Chad said its move was prompted by "entrenched disagreements" with its neighbor to the southwest of the continent.
According to Reuters, Exxon closed the sale of its operations in Chad and Cameroon to Africa-focused oil and gas producer Savannah in a $407 million deal in December. But the Chadian government has challenged the agreement saying the final terms of the deal were different from what had been presented to it.
Exxon’s assets included a 40 percent stake in Chad’s Doba oil project, which comprises seven producing oilfields with a combined output of 28,000 barrels per day (bpd).
It also included Exxon’s interest in the Chad-Cameroon pipeline from the landlocked nation to the Atlantic Gulf of Guinea coast through which its crude is exported.
Chad said in the statement on Thursday that it had reached out to Cameroon to raise concerns about "unfriendly actions" by some Cameroon officials that were contrary to the interests of Chad in the board of the pipeline company but did not get any response.
"Chad finds itself once again in the obligation to defend its interests and its respectability and denounces the repeated actions of Cameroon and its representatives which undermine, relations between the two countries," the statement said.
"Consequently, Chad has decided recall its ambassador to Cameroon for consultation," it added.