An ExxonMobil-led consortium in Chad has been fined $75bn by local court for not paying oil royalties for the drilling.
The consortium partners include Malaysian state oil firm Petronas and Chadian oil company SNT.
The fine was imposed by a high court in the N’Djamena, Chad following a complaint from the Finance Ministry of Northern central African country, which claimed that the consortium failed to meet its tax obligations.
According to the court judgment, the partners is due to pay nearly XAF484bn ($826.3m) in royalties to the government.
In its ruling, the court has also asked Exxon Mobil to pay $819m in overdue royalties, the document said.
Exxon spokesman Todd Spitler was reported by Bloomberg as saying: “We disagree with the Chadian court’s ruling and are evaluating next steps.
“This dispute relates to disagreement over commitments made by the government to the consortium, not the government’s ability to impose taxes.”
In 2014, one of the consortium's original partners, Chevron, had divested its 25% stake for $1.3bn for undisclosed customer.
According to the US Energy Information Administration, the country's production output was estimated at 120,000 barrels a day in 2015, the Associated Press reported.
The country is currently facing economic crisis amid plunging oil price while its trade with Nigeria and Cameroon have also been hindered due to spillover of militant’s attacks.