Chevron Corp. said Tuesday that it was told by Chad to leave the oil-rich African country over a tax dispute.
The San Ramon, Calif.-based company received the demand in a letter Monday as part of a dispute in which Chad President Idriss Deby told Chevron and Malaysia-based Petronas last weekend that they owed $450 million in taxes.
Chevron asserts that it is “in full compliance with all our tax obligations,” spokesman Donald Campbell said Tuesday. Campbell declined to comment further.
Rising oil prices have caused oil-producing countries around the world to pressure foreign companies for a greater share of profits.
Venezuela, the world’s fifth-largest oil exporter, said Tuesday that it would seek a majority stake in the production units of four joint oil ventures as it expands its control over the country’s energy industry.
Chevron, the second-largest U.S. oil company, holds a 25% stake in the $3.5-billion Chad-Cameroon project, which carries oil from Chad on a 658-mile pipeline through Cameroon for export. Chevron’s production stake in the consortium is 37,000 barrels a day. Irving, Texas-based Exxon Mobil Corp., the world’s largest publicly traded oil company, operates the project with a 40% stake. Petronas holds 35%.
Chevron and Petronas have several days to leave the country, Agence-France Presse reported. Exxon Mobil hasn’t been asked to leave Chad, spokeswoman Susan Reeves said.