Thursday, October 16, 2008

Oil in the Sudan

Preface: This excerpt is from World Energy "Areas To Watch"
I would appreciate any comments on any of the material contained below.

Main Concerns: The United States imposed economic sanctions against Sudan in November 1997, prohibiting trade between the two countries, as well as investment by United States companies and persons in Sudan, in order to "deprive the regime in Khartoum of the financial and material benefits of US trade and investment, including investment in Sudan's petroleum sector." In February 2000, the Clinton administration broadened the sanctions to include a prohibition against US citizens and companies conducting business with the Greater Nile Petroleum Operating Company (GNPOC), an international consortium of petroleum companies currently extracting oil from Sudan. The sanctions, however, did not apply to the foreign individual parent companies of GNPOC, which include Calgary-based Talisman Energy, Malaysia's Petronas, and the Chinese National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC). In October 2002, the US Congress passed the Sudan Peace Act, which outlines stiff sanctions, ranging from a downgrading of diplomatic relations to a UN arms embargo, that could be imposed on the Sudanese government if it negotiates in bad faith with the main southern rebel force, Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA).

As of January 2003, Sudan's estimated proven reserves of crude oil stood at 563.3 million barrels. Current crude oil production averages about 250,000 bbl/d, with exports of about 220,000 barrels per day. Output has been rising steadily since the completion of a vital pipeline in July 1999. Development of Sudan's oil resources has been highly controversial. Numerous international human rights organizations have accused the Sudanese government of financing wide-scale human rights abuses with oil revenues, including the mass displacement of civilians living near the oil fields.

The SPLA has declared that it considers oil installations a "legitimate military target," as oil development has provided the Sudanese government the financial resources to expand its war effort. In late March 2002, SPLA rebel leader John Garang stated that his group would continue to attack oil installations in the center of the country despite an agreement to protect civilians and civilian targets and in September 2002, the SPLA said that it had destroyed the main oil well on the Heglig oil field. In November 2001, southern rebels claimed to have ambushed an army convoy traveling near GNPOC facilities, and stated that such attacks would continue until "oil exploration, exploitation and development come to a halt." In August 2001, an attempt by rebels to blow up Sudan's oil export pipeline was thwarted, but rebels claimed to have killed 42 government soldiers in an attack earlier in the month, and also to have inflicted "extensive damage" to oil facilities at Heglig. The government and a representative of Talisman Energy both denied the latter claim. Rebels also claimed to have launched a successful attack on oil facilities in Bentiu in mid-October 2001, but this claim also was refuted by the government.

Sudan remains under a State of Emergency, originally declared on December 12, 1999. Despite this, security risks remain high, particularly in southern Sudan. In March 2000, Swedish company Lundin Oil was forced to suspend operations in Block 5A due to safety concerns and logistical problems associated with the construction of an access road to the site. On March 27, 2003, OMV of Austria announced that the consortium of which it is a member, along with Lundin of Sweden, Petronas of Malaysia, and Sudapet of Sudan, was renewing exploration activities in Sudan after being suspended in January 2002 due to a deteriorating security situation.

There is another article here which is quite interesting concerning the Niger Delta. Again, comments on this content as to its bias or accuracy are appreciated.


Mr. 618 said...

Hi, Sheila. This has nothing to do with your post, but I wanted to thank you for your comment on my blog, and for reminding me of two important pieces that I had overlooked (Directive 51 and the posse comitatus suspension. Feel free to drop by and see the follow-up I wrote based on your comments.

Oh, and I'll be adding both your blogs to my blogroll within the next day or so.

Thanks again!

Sheilanagig said...

mr. 618,

Thank you for your comments. I will also be following your blog.

I am wondering whether Obama will actually make it to the White House.

If he does, I shall be watching closely, because I do not believe that Cheney et al are just going to take their marbles and go home.

I believe they are addicted to their power and will continue on with their imperial plans regardless of who is president. No doubt, they have 'contingency plans' for when Obama is elected.

We shall have to watch very closely.

It is good to learn and feed off other bloggers and between us we form a sticky strand in a giant spider web.

Good on ya.



All blogs are really just small snapshots of a person's mind, heart and soul as they evolve together through life....

Small bits of the thread of life we weave together into the fabric of ourselves, in the hope we will make sense of our existence, individual and collective.

On this page, is the cloak I have fashioned from my fabric to warm myself in a universe which often makes little sense.

Inside my cloak, it is warm enough to face the blistering cold winds of the insane world in which I find myself.

If you find some a bit of 'the good stuff' here, it has been my pleasure.