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Vol 40 No 10

Published 14th May 1999


Oil-fired warfare

Luanda is tying new investments in its oil sector to arms procurements

As the government's economic and military position worsens, its leading apparatchiks are finding ever more innovative ways of financing the war effort. The latest strategy, we hear, centres on marketing equity stakes in new oil fields to companies specialising or linked to defence and security services. For over a year, foreign oil companies have been trying to finalise negotiations to secure licences for three ultra-deep-water oil blocks, thought to contain the largest untapped reserves being offered for exploration anywhere on earth. The government is hoping to reap more than US$800 million in signature bonuses from the operating companies and their equity partners in these blocks. Much of this will be funnelled into the war, specifically to arms procurement.

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