033-i. Advisory review: studies for oil export project - Cameroon and Chad

The NCEA reviewed three documents related to oil export from Chad to Cameroon: a draft and final EIA (and other relevant documents) and an oil spill plan.

Advisory reports and other documents

02 Jul 1998: Advisory review
Accompanying letter
Appendices Advice
22 Oct 1999: Advisory review
Accompanying letter
Appendices Advice
22 Feb 2000: Advisory review
Accompanying letter
Appendices Advice

Significant details

The government of Chad intended to exploit the oil fields of Komé, Bolobo and Miandoum. It granted a consortium a permit to explore and exploit the resources. The consortium was considering to transport crude oil from these fields to Kribi, Cameroon. This would be done throug transportation by pipeline to an offshore loading facility. Apart from contributions by the governments of the two countries and the consortium, a World Bank loan was requested to implement this project. The Netherlands, as contributor to the World Bank and by its position on its Board of directors, had to substantiate its position on the project. In order to assist in the identification of possible benchmarks for the discussion of the Board -in case such a discussion might be held-, the Netherlands Minister for Development Cooperation requested the NCEA to review the EIA and related documents for the project.

In its advisory review of the draft EIAs and other documents (the first document on this page) the NCEA concluded that there is much valuable information included, but that not all relevant issues have sufficiently been addressed. More information is needed on:

  • Problem statement and objectives:
    • The EIAs do not place the project in the present socio-political context;
    • The available information does not rule out the possibility that the pipeline project will serve more objectives;
  • The initiative:
    • The EIAs refer to reports not yet published for information on parts of the initiative and can therefore not fully be judged;
  • Alternatives:
    • The basis for disregarding certain alternatives and the way the alternatives were selected cannot be verified from the EIAs;
  • Impacts:
    • Important other developments have not been identified and their environmental and social impacts have not been assessed - such as development of other oil fields and of a port;
    • A number of impacts have been insufficiently quantified and the effectiveness of proposed mitigating measures is not adequately demonstrated;
  • Monitoring and evaluation:
    • The monitoring capacity of local authorities has not been assessed;
    • An external independent check on the quality and factual implementation of the environmental management plan has not been described;
  • Public information and participation:
    • The EIAs describe good approaches to public information and participation but field observations indicate that implementation is substandard.

After finalization of the EIA, the NCEA was again requested to review the quality of the final document. It concluded that most shortcomings of the draft persisted in the final EIA. Some additional conclusions were:

  • The EIA does not make clear which partners in the initiative are committed to execution of the initiative in compliance with the contents of the EIA;
  • Not all objectives of all partners in the initiative have been quoted as project objectives;
  • Information on oil spill response, on capacity building for implementation, monitoring and enforcement and on monitoring structures is lacking;
  • The alternative analysis is incomplete and partly works towards predefined results;
  • Residual impacts after EMP compliant execution of the initiative have not been assessed.

After this second review, a General Oil Spill Plan was drafted for the project and the NCEA was again asked to review it. In this advisory review (the third document on this page), it concluded that:

  • The plan meets the standards required as a contribution to the EIA;
  • The budget reserved for oil spill response actions does not meet the needs;
  • The plan does not contain clear objectives for oil spill preparedness and response.

Parties involved

Members of the working group

Wim Been
Jacobus Petrus (Bopp) van Dessel
Paul Nchoji Nkwi
Robert Schriel
Dirk Steensma
Piet Wit

Chair: Dick de Zeeuw
Technical secretary: Reinoud Post

Proponent and Component Authority

Tchad Oil Transportation Company (TOTCO)
Cameroon Oil Transportation Company (COTCO)

Component Authority
Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Further details

Country: Cameroon; Chad

Last modified: 13 May 2019