Tuesday, January 17, 2006

JMC Meeting To Be Postponed Due To Pequeno Resignation; Nashville Poster Says Delay Just A Day; Platts' Moran Says Daukoru Says PSCs "Any Time Soon"

The much-anticipated Nigeria-Sao Tome and Principe Joint Ministerial Council meeting expected to convene on Thursday is likely to be postponed due to the need to find a replacement for recently resigned Sao Tome Foreign Minister Ovidio Pequeno, ERHC On The Move has learned.

Pequeno stepped down as foreign minister on Monday after Sao Tome President Fradique de Menezes refused to fire him in the face of criticism from the center-left MLSTP party that he had improperly used a $450,000 gift from the King of Morocco.

While denying the charges, Pequeno resigned and thus became unable to lead his nation's delegation to the JMC meeting, which he was expected to chair.

The postponement is especially painful for the winner of Block 3, Anadarko Petroleum, where PSCs have been full ready for signature for some time, a knowledgeable source said.

Update, 10:33am EST: According to I-Hub poster Mark St. Amour of Nashville, the JMC meeting indeed will be postponed - but just by a day. He says a call to his notoriously unreliable JDA sources elicited the information that the meeting will be held Friday and Saturday rather than on Thursday as planned. However, according to a note St. Amour said he received from Jacinta Moran of Platts, she had a conversation with OPEC President Dr. Edmund Daukoru less than an hour ago and that Daukoru said the PSCs will be signed "any time soon."

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