São Tomé and Príncipe has a nascent petroleum sector. The country is conducting oil exploration activities in two zones under different jurisdictions: the Joint Development Zone (JDZ) with Nigeria, and the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). While no significant oil discoveries have been made to date, the government is looking at how to make the zone more competitive and attract new investors to continue exploration.
The EITI is helping to inform dialogue on attracting investment to develop the EEZ and the JDZ and on managing these projects in line with international best practice. EITI reporting has provided a review of the oil sector’s legal, contractual and fiscal frameworks.
As the Government of São Tomé and Príncipe does not have the legal authority to enforce the full disclosure of information by the Joint Development Authority and by companies operating in the Joint Development Zone, the country implements the EITI under an adapted implementation approach.
EITI Reports have contributed to the monitoring of Joint Development Authority’s compliance with the Abuja Declaration on transparency. Efforts to systematically disclose extractives data online has resulted in the establishment of an online license register hosted by the petroleum regulator ANP-STP, as well as the publication of petroleum agreements on the Resource Contracts portal.
EITI Reports have ensured that information about oil companies’ social expenditures, transfers to and from the National Petroleum Account, licensing procedures and contracts are publicly available for the first time.
Extractive sector data
Top paying companies
Extractive sector management
Tax and legal framework
São Tomé and Príncipe’s petroleum sector is mainly governed by the Fundamental Law on Petroleum Operations (Petroleum Act), as well as a set of other laws, decrees and joint agreements. These provide a legal framework for governing oil revenues, taxation and production sharing contracts. The legislations are complemented by the Abuja Declaration on the Transparency and Good Governance of the Joint Development Zone and by the Decree 57/2009 (Organization of the Exclusive Economic Zone of São Tomé and Príncipe) which are applied to exploration zones and oil blocks. The national petroleum agency, Agência Nacional do Petróleo (ANP), is the lead entity exercising oversight over the sector.
Licenses and contracts
The national petroleum agency, Agência Nacional do Petróleo (ANP), manages the licensing process on behalf of the government. ANP allocates petroleum rights through either a bidding process or direct negotiations. A register of all active oil and gas licenses is publicly available on the ANP website.
All petroleum contracts are disclosed on the Resource Contracts Portal in line with the Law 16/2009, which requires the disclosure of contracts.
São Tomé and Príncipe does not have a legal framework mandating the disclosure of beneficial ownership data of extractive companies. However, the Multi-Stakeholder Group (MSG) has initiated discussions related to disclosure of beneficial owners of companies operating in both the Joint Development Zone (JDZ) and the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), and is considering requesting beneficial ownership information for forthcoming EITI Reports. Furthermore, the MSG plans to support comprehensive beneficial ownership with proposed for amendments to Petroleum Act and Companies Act.
All revenues from oil exploration activities are deposited into the National Oil Account, from which up to 20% can be transferred to the state budget on an annual basis. In accordance with the contract between Nigeria and São Tomé and Príncipe, 40% of the revenues received by the Joint Development Authority from operators in the Joint Development Zone should be distributed to the Government of São Tomé and Príncipe, and 60% to the Government of Nigeria.
EITI STP is administered by the STP Multi-Stakeholder Group (MSG). The MSG is hosted by the Ministry of Finance and chaired by Minister of Finance, Hon. Américo dos Ramos. It is comprised of representatives from government, industry and civil society.
EITI STP has a sub-committee in Nigeria EITI that coordinates EITI reporting in the Joint Development Zone.
São Tomé and Príncipe was found to have made meaningful progress in implementing the 2016 EITI Standard in July 2020, following its third Validation. São Tomé and Príncipe has fully addressed seven of the 10 corrective actions identified in its previous Validation. The next Validation is expected to commence in July 2022.