Ethiopia and Sudan

Lundin Petroleum snubs independent review

1:59 min

Lundin Petroleum will not order an independent review over the oil company's controversial operations in Sudan and Ethiopia. Lundin's stakeholders voted against the proposal at the company's Annual General Meeting on Thursday.

A clear majority of stakeholders, 78 percent, voted against the proposed review, which had been proposed by the insurance and pension fund company Folksam, a minor stakeholder.

The vote followed an intense discussion at the meeting.

Folksam's representative, Carina Lundberg Markow, argued that an independent investigation into whether Lundin followed its own code of conduct during past operations in Africa would improve the company's dented reputation.

At one point, the company's chairman Ian Lundin ordered the microphone to be taken away from Kerstin Lundell, an author and outspoken critic of the company's operations in Africa, news agency TT reports.

"Everybody knos where she stands, and quite frankly I think rambling on about these pointless issues is pointless," said Ian Lundin, the oil company's chairman, at a press conference following the vote.

Egbert Wesselink of the European Coalition on Oil in Sudan supported the proposal for a review.

"We think the company's management has handled these issues in an unprofessional manner. It's important for this to be brought to light, not only for the stakeholders," Egbert Wesselink told TT.

Folksam's proposal was also supported by Swedbank and the second of Sweden's six AP pension funds. Other major stakeholders, including two other AP funds, voted against it.

Lundin Petroleum has been accused of involvement in the turbulence in the region between 1997 and 2003, when thousands of people were killed and many more driven from their homes in the oil-rich areas where the company had prospecting rights.