By Modupe Gbadeyanka An agreement has been reached between the Ministry of Mines and Hydrocarbons of Equatorial Guinea and Hess Corporation as well as its license partners on a $220 million settlement on tax issues related to the companies\u2019 interests in two producing oilfields, Ceiba and Okume. The deal between the government and the partners is the result of negotiations over recent months between the Ministry of Mines and Hydrocarbons and the management of Hess. The resolution of tax issues clears the way for Hess\u2019 sale of its 85-percent interest in the assets to Kosmos Energy, and for increased involvement by Tullow Oil (a 15-percent interest holder in Ceiba and Okume) in Equatorial Guinea\u2019s petroleum sector. This settlement demonstrates Equatorial Guinea\u2019s commitment to profitable partnerships with international energy companies. Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons, Mr Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima, remarked that, \u201cEquatorial Guinea has a stellar record in honouring the sanctity of contracts. \u201cIt is in the best interest of the petroleum sector, our nation and its people that we reach fair agreements on financial matters quickly and in a positive way with international partners. \u201cHess has been a key leader in the oil and gas industry and instrumental to the country\u2019s growth over the long term. We are pleased the companies worked with us to revolve this situation amicably.\u201d Hess opened its Equatorial Guinea office in 2001 and Tullow entered the country in 2004 through its acquisition of Energy Africa. The Ceiba oilfield has been producing since 2000 and the Okume Complex has been in production since 2006. Hess is the operator of the two blocks and national oil company GEPetrol has a carried interest of 5 percent.