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Sudan Acquires Foreign Partners’ Shares in Oil Sector

Sudan Acquires Foreign Partners’ Shares in Oil Sector

Monday, 15 July, 2019 - 11:45
A worker walks by an oil well at the Toma South oil field to Heglig, in Ruweng State, South Sudan August 25, 2018. (Reuters)
Khartoum - Seifyazal Babekir
Sudan decided to acquire shares of the country’s foreign partners in the oil sector and manage and invest in oil through its national companies and cadres.

This step is part of its effort to exploit its petroleum resources, with an estimated reserve of two billion barrels.

The decision was taken after international companies were unable to meet the Sudanese government’s conditions for the establishment of new partnerships.

The oil ministry began to make an inventory of the assets, property and equipment of the three foreign companies operating in the oil sector under the umbrella of the Greater Nile Petroleum Operating Company (GNPOC), one of the largest Sudanese oil companies.

The ministry is preparing to start the hand-over process, which is expected to be completed by the end of this month.

The foreign companies that have been operating in Sudan since the US siege in 1997 are the state-owned China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), Malaysia’s state-owned Petronas and India’s Oil and Natural Gas Corporation.

The 20-year contract with these companies expires by 2020. At the end of the period, the partners either offer their shares for sale or purchase others’ shares.

All foreign partners haven’t found a buyer for their shares, an informed source in GNPOC told Asharq Al-Awsat.

The source added that the steps currently taken by the ministry, in cooperation with GNPOC, are in line with the state’s decision to start a new era that would return Sudan to the year 2000, when it used to produce 700,000 barrels per day.

This number has significantly dropped after South Sudan’s secession in 2011. The decline in production has increased over the past 20 years, reaching a record-low in June with less than 40,000 barrels per day.

Oil experts believe the former government has received financial revenues from that period, estimated at $200 billion, but it didn’t pump these revenues into the country’s treasury and were then wasted by the former government and ministers who took over oil portfolios.

The source pointed out that the agreement with the three companies will be signed soon, including the Sudanese workers’ rights and a complete map of their work during those years.

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