The Sudanese government is seeking to double the country’s oil output over the next four years, by awarding exclusive exploration rights to international oil companies, the Sudanese Minister of Energy and Mining Awadh Al-Jazz told Al-Watan .
Sudan currently produces over 81.9 million barrels of oil annually, the minister disclosed, and is striving to reach 146 million barrels per annum. Based on exploration completed to date, Sudan's proven reserves of crude oil are estimated at no more than 270 million barrels.
Last month, Tatar Prime Minister Rustam Minnikhanov and Sudanese Foreign Trade Minister Musa Kasha reached an agreement that Tatarstan's oil company Tatneft will seek out and extract new gas and oil reserves.
Meanwhile, the Canadian oil company Talisman Energy refused to comment on a newspaper report stating its intention to sell its 25 percent stake in the consortium Greater Nile Oil Operating Company to the Swedish firm, Lundin Oil.
A war for oil, part of the decades-long civil war between northern and southern Sudan, has been waged since 1983. International human rights organizations claim that across the oil-rich regions, the Sudanese government is clearing the land of civilians, in order to make way for the exploration of oil by foreign companies, thus asserting that their presence is fuelling the war.
The United States imposed economic sanctions against Sudan in November 1997, prohibiting trade between the two countries, as well as investment by United States businesses in Sudan. — (menareport.com)
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )