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Although Chad lacks coal, natural gas, and hydroelectric sources, the country does have crude oil reserves in southern Chad, that as of January 1, 2004, have been placed at 900 million barrels, with production in 2003 at 36,000 barrels per day. A consortium led by two US companies has been investing $3.7 billion to develop these oil reserves. The nation's total oil reserves are estimated at 1.5 billion barrels. Chad’s oil production came on stream in late 2003 and it began to export oil in 2004.

According to the 2008 BP Statistical Energy Survey, Chad had proved oil reserves of 0.9 billion barrels at the end of 2007 or 0.07 % of the world's reserves. Chad thus has the potential to be a significant energy producer with a viable upstream industry. In 2007 Chad produced an average of 143.5 thousand barrels of crude oil per day, 0.19% of the world total and a change of -6.2 % compared to 2006.

Chad relies on foreign assistance and foreign capital for most public and private sector investment projects. In July 2003 the first oil began to be pumped following the completion of the 300 km Chad-Cameroon pipeline, which was built with the aid of a US$93 million loan from the World Bank. The country 's petroleum production success depends on its ability to access international markets through the Chad-Cameroon pipeline project. 85% of the pipeline is located in Cameroon . The pipeline capacity is estimated at 225,000 bbl/day and production exceeded 200,000 bbl/d at times in 2004. The Tchad Oil Transport Company (TOTCO) and the Cameroon Oil Transport Company (COTCO) have respective ownership of each country's portion of the pipeline.

A second project to develop oil fields in the Sedigi Basin (with reserves put at 150 million barrels) has been delayed. The problem arose after it was found that the pipeline to carry oil from the Sedigi Basin to a refinery and power plant in the capital of N'Djamena was of such poor quality that it could not be used.

The downstream oil industry is dependent on the importation of refined petroleum products from neighboring Nigeria and Cameroon. Oil provides nearly all of Chad's commercial energy. The development of Chad's petroleum sector is aimed in part at raising electricity output, which is crucial to Chadian industry. Only 2% of households in Chad are supplied with electricity.

Chad is not known to possess any natural gas reserves. Due to its lack of reserves and infrastructure, the country has no plans to develop a gas industry at the present time.

Petroleum Law & Legislation

The industry is regulated by the Ministry of Mines, Energy and Oil (Ministère des Mines, de l'Energie et du Pétrole) (MMEP). A revision of the oil production laws in Chad is based on production sharing and guarantees the recovery of exploration costs on commercially viable discoveries for investors.

Oil & Gas Companies

Some of the notable oil and gas companies with projects in Chad are:

  • ExxonMobil
  • ConocoPhillips
  • Tchad Oil Transport Company (TOCO)
  • Tamoil Chad

Key Figures

  • Oil production:127,000 bbl/day(2008)
  • Oil Consumption: 1,000 bbl/day(2008)
  • Oil Exports: 157,900 bbl/day(2007)
  • Oil Imports: 1,571 bbl/day(2007)
  • Oil Proved Reserves: 1.5 billion bbl(2009)
  • Natural Gas Production: 0 cu m(2008)
  • Natural Gas Consumption: 0 cu m (2008)
  • Natural Gas Exports: 0 cu m (2008)
  • Natural Gas Imports: 0 cu m (2008)
  • Natural Gas Proved reserves:0 cu m(2009)

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