Friday, April 12, 2024

Sudan Tribune

Plural news and views on Sudan

White Nile lobbying removal from Sudan oil block

White Nile lobbying removal from Sudan oil block
Sat 4 Aug 2007, 11:56 GMT

[-] Text [+] By Skye Wheeler

JUBA, Sudan (Reuters) – Britain’s White Nile Plc is lobbying against a decision to remove them from south Sudan’s oil Block B, saying it had halted all drilling work in the swampy area.

South Sudan’s industry minister, Albino Akol Akol, told Reuters in July a long-standing dispute over the massive Block B had been resolved in favour of French oil giant Total SA which held rights to the block granted by the northern government.

“We have stopped drilling operations but we are still doing our community work,” said White Nile’s social and political consultant Acuil Malith Bangol.

White Nile was helping build roads, health facilities and giving scholarships to the local community in Jonglei state.

Bangol said it was lobbying against the decision, “There are positive developments.” Bangol declined to elaborate.

The June 17 decision taken by the National Petroleum Commission (NPC), a joint north-south body formed following a January 2005 peace deal to end a bitter north-south war, said a committee had been formed to assess compensation to White Nile.

The company, listed in Britain, is 50 percent owned by south Sudan’s state oil company Nilepet.

White Nile spent $18 million on seismic testing alone in the block before drilling its first exploration well earlier this year in the 67,000 square km (25,870 sq mile) concession.

Akol said on Friday the compensation team was hoping to finish work within a month.

“(Their) report will be presented to the National Petroleum Commission which will decide how it will compensate,” said Akol.

He said the compensation team’s work was being slowed because the governor of Jonglei state was away.

White Nile did not have to remove any of its equipment until the issue of compensation was cleared said Akol.

Nilepet will retain 10 per cent of the Total-led consortium under the new arrangement for Block B.

“Nilepet is going to be an independent public company and will not be a part of White Nile,” said Akol.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.