Panorama investigates $10bn BP ‘energy scandal’ in Senegal

The BBC Panorama programme investigates a deal between BP and Romanian businessman Frank Timis
The BBC Panorama programme investigates a deal between BP and Romanian businessman Frank Timis

An investigation into a $10bn “scandal” involving BP’s purchase of stakes in gas licences off the coast of Senegal is being broadcast tonight.

The programme, produced by BBC Panorama and Africa Eye, looks into a 2017 deal when the energy giant paid businessman Frank Timis $250m for his stake in the offshore field, with subsequent royalty payments of $9bn – $12bn to be made over the next 40 years.

The investigation looks into the circumstances around Mr Timis’ company Petro-Tim initially being granted the exploration rights, including “suspicious payments” to the Senegalese president’s brother.

It also makes claims that BP was aware of these payments when it made the deal with Mr Timis after gas was discovered.

Both BP and Mr Timis deny any wrongdoing.

BP said the investment will bring “substantial benefits to Senegal” and that it conducted extensive due diligence “in areas including ethics compliance and anti-corruption”.

A representative of Mr Timis said the investment has “potential to generate many billions of dollars for the people of Senegal” and that the “baseless claims” should be rejected.

The programme titled “The $10Billion Energy Scandal” is on tonight at 8.30pm on BBC1.

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