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Sudanese team arrives in South Sudan to inspect oil fields

July 8, 2018 (KHARTOUM) - Sudan’s Ministry of Oil and Gas Sunday said a delegation has been dispatched to South Sudan to check on arrangements for resuming oil pumping.

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Sudanese oil workers at one of GNPOC fields in South Kordofan (file photo Asawer oil company)

State Oil and Gas Minister Saad al-Din al-Bushra said the delegation held meetings with officials from South Sudan’s petroleum ministry.

He added the delegation visited a number of oil fields, saying they would visit “the rest of the fields after completion of some security arrangements”.

Earlier this month, Sudan’s Ministry of Oil and Gas expected that oil production in South Sudan’s Unity and Thar Jath oil fields would resume in less than two months.

On June 27, South Sudanese parties signed the Khartoum Declaration of Agreement, where they committed themselves to a permanent ceasefire and pledged to finalize a deal on the pending issues in the governance chapter of the 2015 peace agreement.

The declaration provides to resume immediately in collaboration with the Sudanese government the rehabilitation of the damaged oil installations in the Unity region, Blocks 1,2, 4 and 5.

It is noteworthy that the Khartoum Declaration does not provide for the immediate resumption of oil production because South Sudan’s opposition led by Riek Machar rejected this idea saying this step should intervene after the signing of a comprehensive political settlement.

In the draft agreement, Khartoum proposed to repair and protect the installations in coordination with the South Sudanese government and to resume the production which will intervene within several weeks when the discussions are concluded.

South Sudan heavily relies on oil income to fund up to 98% of its budget. Also, it relies on the Sudanese pipeline to export its oil production through the Red Sea.

The world newest nation says it is producing around 130,000 barrels of oil a day.

(ST)