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Chad crude oil shipment first step toward energy independence: CPC

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Kaohsiung, Dec. 1 (CNA) State-owned oil supplier CPC Corp., Taiwan on Tuesday celebrated the arrival of the first crude oil shipment from its production facility in Chad one day earlier, touting the delivery as the first step in its efforts to promote national energy independence.

The shipment of 95,000 barrels of crude oil arrived at a wharf used by CPC's Talin Refinery in the southern port city of Kaohsiung on Monday, more than one month after it departed a port in the African country of Cameroon in October.

The shipment represents a significant milestone since the CPC first began its efforts about 40 years ago to explore oil and nature gas resources overseas.

"It proves CPC Taiwan is capable of exploring oil and gas resources on its own," said CPC Chairman Jerry Ou at a ceremony held at the wharf on Tuesday to mark the unloading of the oil cargo.

He also said the CPC will copy its successful exploration experience in Chad to find more oil and gas resources for Taiwan, Ou said.

Given Taiwan's heavy reliance on imported energy due to its lack of domestic resources, CPC signed an agreement with Chad in 2006 for exploration rights.

After five years of exploration, the company said it found new oil and gas reserves in Chad in 2010, and seven years later obtained a 25-year license for development of the Oryx Oilfield in the African country.

According to CPC, it owns 35 percent of the oil exploration rights to the Chad project, while China CEFC Energy Co. holds 35 percent, and the Chad government the remaining 30 percent.

CPC spokesman Chang Ray-chung said the oilfield is estimated to have oil reserves of around 34 million barrels. Currently, it yields only 5,800 barrels of crude oil per day at full capacity, but the yield could reach 9,000-9,500 barrels a day, he added.

The Oryx oilfield is CPC's first overseas oilfield operation since it began investing in exploration abroad, nearly four decades ago.

The company has invested in oil exploration and production at eight sites in six countries -- the United States, Indonesia, Chad, Niger, Ecuador and Australia -- with the projects in Australia and Ecuador currently in the production phase, according to CPC.

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