Exxon to return to Madagascar after coup

IRVING, Texas, Nov. 7 (UPI) -- U.S. energy company Exxon Mobil Corp. said it would return to work off Madagascar four years after a military coup.

Exxon, which has headquarters in Texas, said its Madagascar affiliates received extensions to their production sharing contracts for work off Madagascar.


"The affiliates intend to resume exploration work and environmental assessments for shore-based and offshore operations in preparation for deepwater drilling," the company said in a statement Wednesday.

President Andry Rajoelina seized power in a 2009 coup. Exxon said he signed a decree for the licenses in July.

Madagascar held its first post-coup elections in late October. European election officials said the vote was fair though the BBC reported a second round may be needed in December to settle the outcome. Rajoelina didn't compete.

Madagascar is considered frontier exploration territory. The CIA World Factbook reports no oil or gas production as of 2010.

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