Middle East / Africa

Sao Tome flag
Summary | Profile

Country profile: Sao Tome

Location: Western Africa, islands in the Gulf of Guinea, straddling the Equator, west of Gabon
Climate: tropical; hot, humid; one rainy season (October to May)
Terrain: volcanic, mountainous
Size: 1001 sq. km total (Land area: 1001 sq. km )
Population: 206,178 (July 2008 est.)
Languages: Portuguese (official)
Government: republic
Capital city: Sao Tome
Legal system: based on Portuguese legal system and customary law; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Currency: dobra (STD)

Country profile

Discovered and claimed by Portugal in the late 15th century, the islands' sugar-based economy gave way to coffee and cocoa in the 19th century - all grown with plantation slave labor, a form of which lingered into the 20th century. While independence was achieved in 1975, democratic reforms were not instituted until the late 1980s.

The country held its first free elections in 1991, but frequent internal wrangling between the various political parties precipitated repeated changes in leadership and two failed coup attempts in 1995 and 2003. The recent discovery of oil in the Gulf of Guinea promises to attract increased attention to the small island nation.

Energy production and consumption

Oil Gas
Consumption: 650 bbl/day (2005 est.)  
Imports: 634 bbl/day (2005 est.)  
Major fields:

Sao Tome - recent news

02 Jan 24
Sao Tome: Petrobras acquires stakes in 3 exploratory blocks in Sao Tome through a competitive process conducted by Shell
Petrobras has acquired stakes in 3 exploratory blocks in Sao Tome through a competitive process conducted by Shell. The acquisition marks the resumption of exploratory work on the African continent with the purpose of portfolio diversification.
15 Mar 19
Total awarded Nigeria-Sao Tome JDZ blocks
Total has signed an oil production sharing contract for Blocks 7, 8 and 11 in the Nigeria and Sao Tome and Principe joint development zone (JDZ).
23 Jan 18
Sao Tome: Kosmos and BP win rights to two oil blocks offshore Sao Tome and Principe
A consortium of BP and Kosmos Energy has won exploration rights to two offshore oil blocks in Sao Tome and Principe’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ), the national oil agency said. The two companies won Blocks 10 and 13 in a restricted tender.

Sao Tome - more news

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