No comment from Talisman on report of possible exit from Sudan
Canadian oil company Talisman Energy refused to comment Monday, on a newspaper report in Sudan it intends to liquidate its activities in the civil war-hit East African nation. "There has been a lot of rumors that we are going to leave Sudan. Our policy is not to comment rumors," Talisman spokesman David Mann told AFP.
Al-Rai Al-Aam newspaper reported on Monday, October 29 that Talisman intends to sell its 25-percent stake in the consortium Greater Nile Oil Operating Company to the Swedish firm, Lundin Oil.
The consortium also includes China's CNCP (40 percent), the Sudanese state-owned company Sudapet (five percent) and Malaysia's Petronas (30 percent).
There was no immediate confirmation of the report from Talisman representatives in Khartoum, where the energy ministry's secretary general said the government had not been notified of a withdrawal.
Hassan Mohammed Ali Al-Toam said Talisman had "clearly" informed Khartoum it would not pull out unless the United States brought in a law barring firms that operate in Sudan from the New York stock exchange.
Also, the Sudanese government has to be notified in advance of any new company entering the consortium, under the terms of an agreement with Talisman, he told Al-Rai Al-Aam.
Talisman's president Jim Bukee said in June that the company would stay on in Sudan, despite appeals from Western human rights organizations critical of the government's record in the south of the country.
Southern-based mainly animist and Christian rebels have been fighting Khartoum governments since 1983, against a backdrop of localized fighting over natural resources. ― (AFP, Khartoum)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)