News / Africa

No S. Sudan Oil Exports Until at Least March

An oil processing facility is seen at an oilfield in Unity State, South Sudan, April 22, 2012.
An oil processing facility is seen at an oilfield in Unity State, South Sudan, April 22, 2012.
TEXT SIZE - +
Reuters
South Sudan will delay resuming oil exports until at least mid-March even if the new African republic solves all security conflicts with Sudan at a presidential summit on Friday, Oil Minister Stephen Dhieu Dau said.
 
The comments, the first forecast since November, are a blow  for both oil-reliant economies which have been in dispute since last January when South Sudan shut down its crude output of 350,000 barrels a day after failing to agree on export fees with Sudan.
 
Landlocked South Sudan had planned to resume exports through Sudan this month after the two sides signed several deals to end hostilities in September.
 
But Juba has delayed restarting its oil wells because the two states have failed to agree on how to secure their disputed border, a condition both say is necessary to resume oil exports.
 
Sudan's President Omar Hassan al-Bashir and South Sudan's Salva Kiir are scheduled to hold a summit in Ethiopia on Friday aimed at ending the deadlock.
 
South Sudan's oil minister said both countries had made preparations to restart piping oil to Sudan's export terminal at Port Sudan but it would take two months to hit markets.
 
"If the two presidents meet ...and the two ministries of petroleum in the two countries are given orders to resume the oil production, I can say that by mid-March the crude will be at Port Sudan," Dau said in a interview late on Wednesday.
 
"You have 90 days for the whole procedure from marketing to lifting and then collection of the proceeds," he said, adding that the government would not get any oil revenues until April.
 
Dau did not say when exports would resume but based on the previous plan of restarting production on Nov. 15 and the first exports hitting markets by January, South Sudan would only come close to its former output of 350,000 bpd in the second half of the year.
 
It had originally planned to have full output restored at its largest oilfields in Upper Nile state by March and at the smaller field in Unity state by May.
 
From a technical point of view the export facilities, processing plants and pipelines were ready, Dau said: "We are ready 100 percent now, the two sides."
 
Diplomats see no quick breakthrough at the presidential summit as both sides share a deep mistrust and have repeatedly failed to implement what they have signed.
 
Even if the presidents agreed to set up a demilitarized border zone, as agreed in September, withdrawing their armies would take time.
 
In another setback for international efforts to defuse tensions, South Sudan on Thursday accused the Sudanese army of having bombed its side on the border.
 
The African neighbors came close to war last April in the worst violence since South Sudan seceded from Sudan in July 2011.
 
That followed a 2005 peace deal which ended decades of civil war yet conflicts between the two countries persist. Apart from restarting oil exports they must also determine ownership of several disputed border areas.
 
Arbitration
 
Dau said Sudan and South Sudan had failed to end a dispute over how much Juba should pay for seizing northern-owned oil facilities in the south.
 
Both pledged in September agreements to find a solution within two months. But Dau said Sudan, which demands $1.8 billion for the former assets of its state firm Sudapet, had now opted to seek arbitration.
 
"We accepted, so the case now is before the International Centre for Investment Dispute Settlement in London," Dau said.
 
There was no immediate reaction from Sudan's oil ministry.
 
Dau added that South Sudan would hold new talks next week with Toyota Kenya over a feasibility study to build an alternative oil pipeline through Kenya. All current pipelines go through Sudan.
 
"We are confident that in the first half of 2013, we should actually have a clear position about the construction of the pipeline," Dau said.
 
Analysts are sceptical about government plans for such a pipeline because it would have to cross rough and violence-stricken territory and would only be viable pending significant new oil discoveries.
 

You May Like

Photogallery Pope's Easter Prayer: Peace in Ukraine, Syria

Pontiff also calls for end to terrorist acts in Nigeria, violence in Iraq, and success in peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians More

Abdullah Holds Lead in Afghan Presidential Election

Country's Election Commission says that with half of the ballots counted, former FM remains in the lead with 44 percent of the vote More

Russia-Ukraine Crisis Could Trigger Cyber War

As tensions between Kyiv and Moscow escalate, so too has frequency of online attacks targeting government, news and financial sites More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid