Home | News    Wednesday 1 February 2012

South Sudan denies rumours of close ties between Khartoum and oil firms

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By Ngor Arol Garang

January 31, 2012 (JUBA) - South Sudan on Tuesday denied scrutinising rumours regarding the close links between two international oil companies, who work in the new nation, and the Sudanese government.

South Sudanese express their support as President Salva Kiir declared a halt on all oil operations in South Sudan, in Juba January 23, 2012. (Reuters)

Some senior member of the South Sudan’s ruling party Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) claim that the Swiss oil traders Vitol and Trafigura had worked closely with Sudanese government during the years of war before the signing of 2005 peace agreement.

They claimed Vitol uses to extend Khartoum "advance substantial financial support" to secure future oil. The same officials also accused Trafigura of brokering the then Sudan’s oil at the European and international markets and funding Khartoum’s efforts for war.

The SPLM officials wondered why the same companies whose records have not been verified are allowed to enjoy a fairly easy entry into the South Sudanese oil market despite their links to the National Congress Party (NCP).

However, Stephen Dhieu Dau, the South Sudan’s oil minister in an interview with Sudan Tribune on Tuesday categorically denied that the two international companies were in anyway linked to Sudanese government or its security apparatus as it is alleged.

"I don’t think they have political link to the government in Khartoum. What I know is that they are independent international companies. If they have links with Khartoum their crude oil which they brought from us would not have been confiscated," Dau told Sudan Tribune in an interview on Tuesday.

Minister Dau further disclosed that: "We have actually concluded discussions with them. I just held a meeting today with one of the engineers tasked to construct mini-refineries in Unity State”.

He however explained that the shutting down process which came as the result of the oil crisis did not allow the company to start the construction operations on time but that they are committed to proceed with the construction plan.

"The work should have actually started early but got delayed by this crisis," he explained.

The senior official however declined to comment on reports alleging that another trading company, Glencore has signed a joint venture with the South Sudan oil trading company, Nilepet, to build its trading capacity.

Glencore is the world’s largest commodities trading company. Unconfirmed reports claim that its founder, Mark Rich, is often remembered for tax evasion and dodging sanctions 30 years ago.

A highly placed source in the ministry of national security said in a separate interview that they "are aware of these allegations and they are being investigated. Some of our personnel are collaboratively working with the ministry of petroleum and mining to study profiles of each of the oil companies".

"The intention of these studies is to find out who are the real owners of these companies. Another reason is to verify political ties and links with the NCP," he stressed.

The source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to speak to the media on the issue, further said the government have been fully aware of the allegations which are circulating in the public domain for "a long time".

"These allegations have been circulating around in the public sphere and the government started hearing about them before this country could officially become an independent state in July, " he added.

Although allegations of oil theft had forced the new state of South Sudan to shut down all oil production, America, China and the African Union are all trying to persuade the parties to come to an agreement. They claim it is everyone’s interest for the oil to keep flowing.

South Sudan had threatened legal action against the Sudanese government claiming that this is theft.

Speaking earlier about the companies buying the South Sudanese crude, an official said, "it is high time for our government to start holding these companies accountable”.

(ST)

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  • 1 February 2012 09:45, by Aarai Baka

    Take extremely careful when trying to catch the thief or he/she will kill u before u got him/her. ROSS must really scrutiny the Chinese, Indian, Malaysian companies b4 grant them a deal due to their link with NCP during our struggling with nif. even Canadian companies must be scrutinized too, they have big stake with NCP oil all these times. trusted no mony heer.

    repondre message

    • 1 February 2012 10:20, by Darkangel

      http://uk.reuters.com/article/2012/01/31/uk-sudan-crude-idUKLNE80U02O20120131

      Q+A: Can buyers of seized Sudanese crude get into legal trouble?

      Lawyers say buyers of the seized crude sold by Sudan are unlikely to face litigation, although they may be penalised by the south with a ban on future oil sales.

      repondre message

      • 1 February 2012 10:22, by Darkangel

        DOES SUDAN FACE A LEGAL THREAT TO THE SALE?

        Sudan sold the seized oil to recover transit fees incurred by the south since July. It is probably entitled to adequate compensation through payment in kind for unpaid transit fees.

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        • 1 February 2012 13:42, by Observer

          Ah the ultimate propaganda method. Cut something from an article to back up the message you want to get accross.
          Why did you not cut and paste such sentences as
          "Buyers could in turn take action against Sudan for selling crude it is not entitled to if South Sudan said the oil was theirs, he said, or ...

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          • 1 February 2012 13:46, by Observer

            "It is probably entitled to adequate compensation through payment in kind for unpaid transit fees, Norton’s Wright said.

            "But if they sold too cheaply, then South Sudan could have a claim against Sudan," he said

            Kind of makes your angle on the article a bit more balanced when you include the other side of the argument doesn;t it.

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        • 2 February 2012 03:17, by SeekingTruth

          DARKANGEL, ACCEPT THAT YOUR NCP IS A GREAT THIEF! WHY SO QUICK TO THE EXTENT OF SELLING SOUTH’S OIL AT A DISCOUNTED LOWER PRICE IF IT WASN’T SOMETHING ACQUIRED THROUGH FRAUD?
          BEAR IN UR ILLOGICAL MIND THAT SOUTH WILL GO THROUGH ALL THE LEGAL MEASURES IN HOLDING YOUR TYRANNY GOV’T ACCOUNTABLE NO MATTER WHAT HAPPEN.

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      • 1 February 2012 12:35, by Logic

        This guy "Master" is really funny.

        He quotes “Uk.reuters” as a source of reference and the assertion of some unknown "lawyers" is suppose to convince the readers of the legal aspect of the Sudanese oil crisis.

        The same racist fool would scorn ST for publishing unfavorable articles about his beloved NCP Sudan. The epitome of irony!

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  • 1 February 2012 13:54, by Gabriel KK

    The minister concern must cancel the contract for those companies and give the production and construction of pipelines to other companies which are not currently working at oil fields. those companies operating under NCP rules should not touch our oil because they are thieves too.

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  • 1 February 2012 19:30, by morogot batal

    PLITICAL IS THE 1ST VICE PRESIDENT OF SATAN....AN OPEN LETTER TO GOVT.RSS....STOP PLAYING POLITICS IN THE MARKET THAT ITS PRICE IS THE LIVES AND BLOOD OF YOUR OWN CITIZENS...OTHERWISE YOU WILL BE CONDEMN AND WE WILL FORCE YOU OUT OF THIS POST....IT WAS THESE CITIZENS YOU ARE JOKING WITH THERE LIVES THAT BROUHGT YOU IN THIS GOVERNMENT...2500000 DIED AND WE ARE READY TO DIE ALL

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  • 1 February 2012 19:33, by Lokeji

    if i were to be a top man in SPLM or GOSS, i could do anything to influence the top leadership to cancel all the contracts of the existing companies especially the Chinese and Malaysian companies.they collaborated with the northerners to marginalize us within their companies despite the fact that most of the oil fields are located in south Sudan.

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  • 1 February 2012 19:53, by Lokeji

    It’s only after 2005 that we begin to see people like Faroug ghawach assign as vice chairman in WNPOC ( white nile petroleum operation company) but before that we were used to Arabs from security intelligent and more specifically the two outstanding northern tribes.Goss have to do away with these eastern Asians companies, we want total economic independent from anything that connects us to north.

    repondre message

    • 2 February 2012 03:18, by John

      Dear Lokeji,

      If you were the leader, you would... luckly, you will never be, as if you were, you would bring diaster to all people.

      You know why some countries are defined as evil country? ’cos they do what they wanna do without any respect to International rules & laws.

      repondre message

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    Q26VtuMNLKdukvlqzHMCVXlm7YGVFEssanyong actyon madeira plastica plastic lumber ?I was very pleased to find this web-site.I wanted to thanks for your time for this wonderful read!! I definitely enjoying every little bit of it and I have you bookmarke

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