Oil tensions between Sudan and South Sudan intensify

Published January 24th, 2012 - 09:27 GMT
South Sudan
South Sudan

The world’s newest country is suing its former other half because of what South Sudan describes as “stealing” oil. South Sudan’s oil minister revealed that the ministry filed a lawsuit against Khartoum in a “specialized international tribunal”.
When South Sudan gained independence in July 2011, it obtained about 75% of the former area of Sudan’s oil. However, the newly landlocked region must use a pipeline through the north to export the crude. Since the two countries have failed to reach an agreement over a transit fee, Sudan (Khartoum) has seized about 120,000 barrels daily since January 17 in retaliation for unpaid transit fees.
The two sides failed to reach an agreement over the transit fees, with the north demanding $36 per barrel that passes through northern infrastructure and an additional $1 billion in unpaid fees.  South Sudan estimates that overall, Khartoum has taken $350 million worth of oil and prevented amounts worth $400 million from departing Port Sudan.
Oil represents 98% of revenues in South Sudan, but the government has decided that it is better to stop production and keep it in the ground than to allow Khartoum to appropriate it. Additionally, Juba accused Khartoum of preventing ships from loading goods belonging to South Sudan.
In search of a solution, South Sudan’s Oil Minister Stephen Dhieu Dau announced, “We have already started discussions about construction of a pipeline through eastern Africa, via Kenya. We expect the pipeline to be completed in 10 months. We will also begin immediately the construction of a refinery in South Sudan.”
Sudan and South Sudan are negotiating in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, with the African Union mediating. However, talks have stalled as each side refuses to negotiate on the oil problems. (Source: english.nuqudy.com)

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