SUDAN WATCH: Sudan says oil discovered in impoverished Darfur

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Sudan says oil discovered in impoverished Darfur

Here is no surprise. But, if true, it is the first time a Sudanese official has confirmed it: an oil field has been discovered in southern Darfur.

Note, southern Darfur is the region where a savage attack on Khor Abeche [which was controlled by the SLM, the main rebel group in Darfur] by 200 militia and a group of 150 people hailing from Niteaga took place April 7, 2005.

By UNITED PRESS INTERNATIONAL

Published April 16, 2005

KHARTOUM, Sudan -- Sudan said Saturday initial oil drilling operations in the troubled Darfur region indicate there is abundant oil in the area.

Sudan Energy Minister Awad al-Jaz told reporters in Khartoum an oil field was found in southern Darfur and it is expected to produce 500,000 barrels of oil per day by August.

Most of the country's oil production comes from oil fields in southern Sudan, where a peace treaty was recently signed between the government and rebels.

According to the accord, 50 percent of oil revenues from the south will go to the Sudan People's Liberation Movement [the former rebel group of south Sudan], while the other half to Khartoum.

The country started exporting oil in August 1999.

Sudan Energy Minister Awad Ahmed Al-Jaz
Photo: Sudan Energy Minister Awad Ahmed Al-Jaz (Sudan Tribune)
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Further reading

July 6, 2004 Zaman online report 'Oil Underlies Darfur Tragedy'

July 11, 2004 post - Arab sources say oil discovered in Darfur - Sudan and India sign new pipeline deal.

July 12, 2004 post by Jim Moore re Oil and Darfur.

Dec 4, 2004 post on Oil and Darfur - India signs new pipeline deal - France interested in Uranium and has drilling rights.

Apr 3, 2005 post - Oil found in South Darfur - Oil issues threaten to derail Sudan hopes for peace.

Apr 10, 2005 post - India to send peacekeeping force next month to police southern Darfur, Sudan
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China National Petroleum Corp owns most of a field in southern Darfur

Here are some excerpts from a Washington Post report by Peter S. Goodman, December 23, 2004:

A report by the U.S.-funded Civilian Protection Monitoring Team, which investigates attacks in southern Sudan, asserted that government troops have "sought to clear the way for oil exploration and to create a cordon sanitaire around the oil fields."

China National Petroleum Corp., still owned by the Communist Party government, bought into the Sudan consortium in 1996. It joined with Sudan's Energy Ministry to build the country's largest refinery, then last year invested in a $300 million expansion that nearly doubled production, according to a report in the Shenzhen Business Post.

The consortium's Heglig and Unity oil fields now produce 350,000 barrels per day, according to the U.S. Energy Department. Separately, CNPC owns most of a field in southern Darfur, which began trial production this year, and 41 percent of a field in the Melut Basin, which is expected to produce as much as 300,000 barrels per day by the end of 2006. Another Chinese firm, Sinopec Corp., is erecting a pipeline from that complex to Port Sudan on the Red Sea, where China's Petroleum Engineering Construction Group is building a tanker terminal.
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OIL AND GAS CONCESSION HOLDERS

See oil concession map in sidebar on right. The following information is from USAID:

BLOCKS
1 (Unity) Greater Nile Petroleum Operating Company
2 (Heglig) Talisman Energy Inc. (Canada)
4 (Kailkang) Petronas Carigali (Malaysia), Sudapet (Sudan) and China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC)
3 (Adar) Gulf Petroleum Corporation (Qatar),
7 (Mellut) Sudapet (Sudan) and China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC)
5a Lundin Oil AB International Petroleum Corporation (IPC) (Sweden) Petronas Carili (Malaysia) OMV Sudan Exploration GmbH (Austria) and Sudapet (Sudan)
5 (Central) TotalElFina (France)
6 China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC)

[Oil Concession information from rightsmap.com]


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