For TOTCO and COTCO, 2014 was a year marked by new shipper projects and significant operational achievements.
New sources of crude from Glencore affiliate PetroChad Mangara (PCM) and China National Petroleum Corporation in
Chad (CNPCIC), coupled with increased production from EEPCI, resulted in an increase in crude having been transported by COTCO and TOTCO over the previous year. And with a multi-shipper commercial framework having been established, COTCO and TOTCO were focused this year on preparing for additional increases in oil volumes in 2015.
To assure that we provide top quality service to our new customers as well as our existing customers, we have made
several important technical and operational changes. Investments in infrastructure, like modifications at our two pump stations in Cameroon, will provide increased flexibility to handle the different characteristics of crude coming from multiple producers and oilfields in Chad. Our recently established commercial department created a dedicated group to oversee the contractual obligations established under this new multishipper framework. Also, a new TOTCO headquarters in N’Djamena and a planned enlarged office in Komé will increase our capacity to serve all of our customers’ needs, now and in the future.
We are especially proud of the successful completion of the Lom Pangar Pipeline Modification Project, which will support economic development in the country for many years to come. Thanks to anexcellent collaboration with the Cameroonian government, not only did we meet all of our commitments, but we did so safely and in a manner that minimized impacts to the environment. All of this technically challenging work was done without a serious injury or interruption of the flow of oil from Chad and through Cameroon.
We also measure ourselves by the effectiveness of our corporate citizenship activities. Continuous two-way communications with communities near where we work is a top priority for us. We are continually seeking better ways to work together. For example, we have installed over 50 water wells in Cameroonian communities near our pipeline. We have also worked to broaden support for The Foundation for Environment and Development in Cameroon (FEDEC), an organization originally focused on mitigating environmental and socioeconomic impacts related to the project. To date, the organization has received $5 million in grants from COTCO.
In addition to hiring a number of Chadian professionals and technicians to support TOTCO’s rapid growth, our nationalization program has continued to be highly successful in both countries. Currently, most COTCO functions are staffed, supervised and managed by experienced Cameroonians with just a handful of expatriates in the organization. Mentoring, training and succession planning has enabled us to increase the percentage of Cameroonians in COTCO’s workforce to almost 95%.
Thanks to what was accomplished last year, our Export Transportation System is well positioned to support potential further growth in crude production in the region. With crude from our new customers now flowing through the pipeline and additional prospects currently being explored in Chad and Niger, we believe 2014 was the beginning of a promising “second era” for the pipeline companies.