This case story originates from BASESwiki.org, a platform based on wiki style contributions from a virtual network or individuals, companies and organizations with relevant expertise. Though some of the information may be outdated or inaccurate due to the wiki-nature of the BASESwiki platform, they still present a valuable resource. ACCESS is reviewing and updating all BASESwiki case stories.
Exxon Mobil is the world's largest publicly traded international oil and gas company, providing energy that helps underpin growing economies and improve living standards around the world. They operate facilities or market products in most of the world’s countries and explore for oil and natural gas on six continents.
Exxon Mobil undertook a major investment in the Chad-Cameroon pipeline project. This $4.2 billion (US) project is one of the largest private sector investments in sub-Saharan Africa. On July 1st 2000, the governments of Chad and Cameroon signed an agreement with the World Bank and a consortium of trans-national companies to construct a pipeline from Chad across Cameroon to the Atlantic coast. Three institutions of the World Bank Group – IDA, IBRD and IFC - have provided over $ 300 million in loans. The Construction began in August 2000 and was completed in June 2003, a full year ahead of schedule. The consortium led by the US Company ExxonMobil (40 %), also includes Chevron, which is another US corporation and Petronas the Malaysian state oil company. It is supported by the World Bank and the European Investment Bank. One of the major objectives of the project was to demonstrate that large scale crude oil projects, when designed to ensure transparency and effective environmental and social mitigation, can significantly improve prospects for sustainable long term development. Apart from being a massive oil production venture, the project was supposed to be of immense benefit to the relevant communities.
As a result of dialogue surrounding this project between Exxon and other stakeholders, some aspects of the initial project, which could have had a negative affect on the local habitat, were reviewed.
To promote transparency, final compensation payments took place at public hearings in the affected villages, with one of the NGOs serving the role of “witness” to the process.