Sudan's energy and mining minister has said the country's oil production will go up from the current 220,000 to 500,000 barrels per day next year. Minister Awad Ahmed Al-Jaz was quoted on Friday, December 7 by the official Al Anbaa daily as saying his ministry has plans to develop the oil-fields in Higlig and Unity provinces. It will also expand the storage capacity of the oil terminal at Bashair on the Red Sea and the refineries in Khartoum, El-Obeid, central Sudan, and Port Sudan.
Jaz said promotion efforts are being made for foreign companies to explore for petroleum in regions of the White Nile, Blue Nile, Red Sea and Darfur, while an agreement would be finalized with a Russian firm for operations in Gezira, central Sudan.
The minister dismissed as incorrect a foreign media report that local people had been driven out of their homes in oil-producing areas in southern Sudan. "On the contrary, the oil-producing areas have been furnished with such services as electricity and potable water and have therefore attracted people from other areas to live," Jaz said.
The minister said he had not received any written confirmation from Canada's Talisman company that it is pulling out of oil operations in Sudan. "If Talisman or any other company decides to withdraw, there are tens of firms to replace it," Jaz said. — (AFP, Khartoum)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )