South Sudan orders oil-production halt
South Sudan has said it ordered the halt of oil production that provides some 98 percent of its revenue, amid a deepening dispute with the Sudanese government over pipeline fees.
Sudan admits to taking some South Sudanese oil destined for export as compensation until an agreement, but the South has said this is theft.
“The government has instructed the minister of petroleum and mining to proceed with arrangements for a complete shutdown of oil production,” Barnaba Marial Benjamin, South Sudan’s minister of information, told the AFP news agency on Friday.
“The Council of Ministers decided today that in light of the present quantities of oil being taken by Khartoum” it would halt production..
However, Benjamin said shutting down production would not be immediate, and that South Sudanese President Salva Kiir would meet his Sudanese counterpart, Omar al-Bashir, before it was stopped.
“It [production] is not just closed like a door key … it cannot be less than seven days,” he said.
“The council has also agreed that President Kiir will meet Omar al-Bashir at the African Union in Addis Ababa on January 27.”
Both African countries agreed in March to resume crude exports from landlocked South Sudan through Sudanese oil facilities after resolving disputes over transit fees and other issues.
Mustafa Osman Ismail, Sudan’s investment minister, recently swtated, “Iraq agreed to give us an amount of oil that we will pay later.”
Oilandgaspress hopes the problems of both Sudan’s will be resolved soon. Africa really needs to learn to love itself, its people and work together to maximize use of its natural resources for the good of the continent.
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