The international EITI Board approved Sao Tome and Principe's application for EITI Candidate status at its meeting in Lusaka on 26 October 2012. As an EITI Candidate country, it has to start disclosing payments from its extractives sector, and meet all the requirements in the EITI Standard within 2.5 years to become EITI Compliant.
Located in the oil-rich Gulf of Guinea in West Africa, Sao Tome and Principe is preparing to produce oil in both the joint development zone with Nigeria (JDZ) and in the so-called Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). The development of the JDZ follows a treaty signed in 2001 with Nigeria. The key provisions of the treaty are that the JDZ operates independently (governed by a bi-national body) and that 60% of revenues are allocated to Nigeria and 40% to Sao Tome and Principe.
The JDZ started to license five blocks in late 2004. Currently, there is exploration activity in six blocks. Companies exploring in these blocks include Total, Anadarko, Addax and Sinopec. In the EEZ, five blocks have being granted for exploration, with two being currently explored. Three companies are active: Oranto, Equator exploration and ERHC. The first two have paid signature bonuses. There is not yet any production in the JDZ nor the EEZ. Sao Tome and Principe has received USD 81.8 million in signature bonuses for these licenses.
On 5 September 2012 the government, civil society organisations and extractive industries operating in the country established the Sao Tome and Principe’s Extractive Industries National Stakeholder Group that will oversee implementation of the EITI. The World Bank will provide technical assistance to EITI implementation.