However, the company has denied reports that it is planning exploration work in the disputed Western Sahara region.

Following an agreement with the Njamena government, Tamoil has been granted the rights to look for oil in three locations in the north of Chad.

“Tamoil Africa has reached a deal with the Chadian government and was awarded an oil exploration permit on three areas, Idriss1, Idriss 2 and Wadjadou 1, which are located near the border with Libya,” it said in a statement.

According to further media reports, Tamoil is also to invest $100m-150m in the Western Sahara region in a consortium with Rabat, through a newly-formed subsidiary, Tamoil Sakia.

However, Tamoil has dismissed the reports. “The company denies emphatically some media reports about an oil investment deal in Western Sahara,” it said in a statement. “It did not sign any agreement on oil exploration permits in Western Sahara and it has no plan to invest in any oil operations there.”

Western Sahara is a designated by the UN as a non-self-governing territory. Sovereignty over the area is disputed by Rabat and the Polisario Front, a political party promoting independence for the region.