Exxon negotiating with Chad over exemplary fine of $74 billion

Exxon has appealed against the ruling and is in the process of negotiating an exit package.

Bloomberg has reported citing a lawyer for Exxon stating that the company is in negotiations with Chad over a record $74 billion fine imposed by the central African nation over unpaid royalties.

Exxon has appealed the Chad’s court October 5 ruling. However, hearing of the appeal has been delayed because of the on-going negotiations.

Exxon declined to comment.

Chad’s court has fined a consortium of companies led by Exxon for more than $73.44 billion (44 trillion CFA francs). The amount is nearly four times British Petroleum’s Deepwater Horizon settlement and nearly seven times Chad’s annual gross domestic product.

As per the judgement of the court, the consortium led by Exxon, includes Chadian oil company SNT and Malaysian state oil firm Petronas were found to be owing the country royalties to the tune of $808 million (484 billion CFA francs).

Chad’s court did not elaborate on why it has imposed a penalty 900% of the royalties due amount.

As per sources from Chad’s Ministry of Finance, the unpaid royalties relate to dispute over fees. While the country’s Finance Minister is seeking a 2% royalty from the consortium, as per the defendants, the rate is higher than the agreed level.

Both, SNT and Petronas could not immediately be reached for comment.

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