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Addax may lose rights.

Addax Petroleum, a subsidiary of China's Sinopec Group, could lose its licence to operate in Gabon for failing to pay customs duties and comply with other laws, senior officials at the crude-producing Central African nation's oil ministry said.

"The government has criticised Addax for the non-payment of customs duties since 2009 and non-compliance with the Gabon's hydrocarbons and environment code," a senior official of Gabon's oil ministry told Reuters.

Addax has denied the charges.

Last year, Gabon seized Addax Petroleum's 8,500 barrels-per-day Obangue field. In January, the country handed the operations to newly created state-owned Gabon Oil Co. Last month, Gabon Oil Minister Etienne Ngoubou warned during a petroleum congress in the country that: "If Addax does not want to comply with the regulations in force, it will be asked to leave Gabon."

An official from the company told Reuters the decision to seize Addax's assets was unjust and is being contested. "We have met all our commitments so far," the official said, requesting not to be identified.

"In creating Gabon Oil Co, the state did not have any assets of its own, so it decided to make us the scapegoat by taking our assets and giving it to the new company," he said.

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Publication:Oil & Gas News
Geographic Code:6GABO
Date:May 20, 2013
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