DRC nulls Gertler’s oil permit

DRC nulls Gertler’s oil permit

The government of the Democratic Republic of Congo has announced exploration permits from companies controlled by Israeli investor Dan Gertler for two huge oil concessions near the eastern border with Uganda invalid.

Congo’s hydrocarbons ministry made the announcement and said that the the permits granted to two of Gertler’s companies in 2010 for Blocks 1 and 2 near the Ugandan border had expired.The companies have not entered into production in either of the two blocks, which are thought to contain potentially more than a billion barrels of oil.

The ministry further said that said a production-sharing agreement reached in 2010 was being ended and asked to Oil of DRCongo, which oversees Gertler’s oil interests in Congo to transfer all technical data and pay charges due under the contract.

A spokesperson for Oil of DRCongo said the status of the blocks could not be changed, because of a force majeure that was declared last year due to the government’s lack of progress in securing a way to export the oil.

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Sanctions on Gertler

“The force majeure was subsequently confirmed in May 2021 by the State Council and therefore remains in place until the reasons for the force majeure are resolved, by law,” said the Oil of DRCongo spokesperson.

Oil of DRCongo remains committed to working with all parties to resolve the force majeure, identifying a competitive evacuation system, and bringing these assets towards production.”

The US Treasury had imposed sanctions on Gertler and more than 30 of his businesses in December 2017 and June 2018, accusing him of leveraging his friendship with former Congo President Joseph Kabila to secure lucrative mining deals.

Neighbouring Uganda, whose adjacent oil blocks are being developed by France’s Total and China National Offshore Oil Corporation, signed a deal in April with those companies and Tanzania to build a pipeline to the Indian Ocean. Congo is not a part of the deal.