JUBA Jan 13 (Reuters) - South Sudan said on Friday that a pipeline to north
Sudan carrying its oil exports may have to shut down within two days because
Khartoum was blocking oil shipments.
Six months after landlocked South Sudan seceded from Sudan, the two
countries have failed to agree on how much Juba should pay Khartoum in fees
to transport its production of 350,000 barrels per day to port.
South Sudan's minister of petroleum and mining, Stephen Dhieu Dau, said
Sudan was still blocking southern oil exports that go via the northern port
of Port Sudan.
"There is no change to the blockade. They are holding the oil. The companies
are warning all the partners including the government of Sudan and our
government and all stakeholders that within two days there will not be space
for storage," he told reporters.
"(It) will have to shut down if there is no change. This is a major
program," he said. "This is the responsibility of the government of Sudan.
They will be responsible for any damages that follow the shutdown."
South Sudan has accused Khartoum of preventing two ships carrying 1.6
million barrels of southern from leaving Port Sudan, another from loading
0.6 million barrels and two others from entering port to take possession of
a further 1.2 million barrels.
Juba says Khartoum was re-routing all of the new nation's Nile Blend crude
oil entitlements for December to refineries in El Obeid and Khartoum.
The Sudanese foreign ministry has declined to comment. President Omar Hassan
al-Bashir said this month Khartoum would impose a fee on Juba until a deal
was reached on a transit fee but gave no details.
Analysts say Khartoum needs to keep supplying oil to its refineries or risk
damaging its facilities because of the nature of the crude. Sudan's output
of less than 120,000 bpd serves only domestic consumption.
South Sudan voted overwhelmingly for independence in a referendum a year
ago, the culmination of a 2005 peace deal that ended decades of civil war in
which over 2 million people died.
South Sudan on Friday signed new agreements with Asian oil firms to replace
existing deals with north Sudan.
China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) and China Petroleum and Chemical Corp
(Sinopec) as well as Malaysia's Petronas and India's Oil and Natural Gas
Corp (ONGC) signed new contracts with the oil ministry, officials said.
"The difference is that the government of South Sudan, by managing and
overseeing this sector, will follow a transparent policy and good
governance," said Dhieu Dau.
He said South Sudan would also review concessions for firms who are still in
exploration stage. Among the most prominent firms, France's Total holds a
concession in Jonglei state but exploration has been hampered by tribal and
rebel violence there.
"We will soon start to negotiate with all companies that have been awarded
blocks and we believe that some of these companies have overstayed on these
blocks without doing anything and also even their rights of ownership to
these blocks is in question," he said
"We will not wait for long. We want to exploit our resources," he said.
South Sudan hopes for new finds as its output is expected to halve within a
decade, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Oil insiders say
Khartoum was overpumping some fields before southern independence.
The oil minister said the government wanted to double output to 700,000 bpd
within five years and considers building a pipeline to Kenya to bypass
But analysts are sceptical that new major finds will be made unless the
government managed to end tribal violence which has escalated in Jonglei
state where Total is active.
Oil insiders say a Kenya pipeline would not be viable without major new
finds because production will decline in the coming years. Building would be
also a major challenge in rough territory. (Reporting by Hereward Holland;
Writing by Ulf Laessing; editing by Jason Neely and Keiron Henderson)
Children among 57 killed in S.Sudan tribal clashes-govt
Fri Jan 13, 2012 2:52pm GMT
* New country struggling to control remote areas
* Violence erupted two weeks ago in Jonglei oil state (More details,
JUBA Jan 13 (Reuters) - At least 57 people, most of them women and children,
were killed in tribal clashes on Wednesday in South Sudan's vast Jonglei
state, the latest deaths in a cycle of ethnic violence displacing 60,000
people, the government said on Friday.
South Sudan declared independence from north Sudan in July under the terms
of a 2005 peace agreement that ended decades of civil war.
Its government is now struggling to control an underdeveloped territory
roughly the size of France.
The country has been plagued by ethnic clashes over cattle, territory and
blood feuds for decades but violence has risen, fuelled by a flood of
weapons left over from the civil war and other conflicts.
Fighting between Lou Nuer and Murle groups broke out about two weeks ago in
remote regions of Jonglei state, home to a largely-unexplored oil field
operated by France's Total.
At least 57 people were killed in a fresh outbreak of fighting on Wednesday
when armed Murle fighters attacked three Lou Nuer villages in Uror country
in northern Jonglei state, said government spokesman Barnaba Marial
"The government cannot control everything. It's a huge area ... Eleven men
were killed, the rest were women and children," he said.
Benjamin said the attackers had also wounded 53 people and stolen cattle.
The government was sending army and police reinforcements to the area in
Jonglei, which borders Ethiopia, he added.
"These were probably revenge attacks," he said.
Aid group Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) said it had flown out thirteen
wounded to neighbouring Upper Nile state.
"Five adult women and two adult men had gunshot wounds and the remaining six
patients were children under five, with beatings or gunshot wounds," MSF
said in a statement.
The violence started when around 6,000 Lou Nuer men attacked the main Murle
town of Pibor and other settlements in southern Jonglei, displacing 60,000
people and stealing thousands of cattle, U.N. and government sources say.
After the Lou Nuer campaign lasting several days Murle men attacked two
villages in Akobo county in northern Jonglei, killing at least 24, according
to the government.
CYCLE OF VIOLENCE
Ravaged by decades of civil war South Sudan is one of the least developed
countries with few roads existing outside the capital Juba.
Lou Nuer have blamed the Murle on attacks and cattle raids in northern
Jonglei in August which have killed some 600. Around 200 people maybe have
been abducted then, according to the United Nations.
The United Nations said around 20,000 displaced people had started to return
to Pibor, but others were still hiding in the bush.
"We started yesterday the general deliveries of food ... in two of the most
heavily affected areas," said Lise Grande, U.N. humanitarian coordinator for
The U.N. World Food programme (WFP) said it had sent on Thursday 44.5 metric
tons of food into Pibor County to feed over 2,500 people.
MSF has treated some 380 people since reopening a clinic in Pibor last
Sunday, said its Jean Marc Jacobs, deputy head of its mission in South
"There are people who had injuries which they couldn't treat for days. We
are stabilising them," he said, adding that also many Malaria cases were
South Sudan's government has declared Jonglei a disaster area.
Some analysts say South Sudan may become a failed state as the government
struggles to end tribal and rebel violence, widespread corruption and build
up state institutions.
The country contracted oil sales worth around $3 billion but analysts say
there are little signs of development. (Writing by Ulf Laessing; Editing by
Andrew Heavens and Matthew Jones)
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Received on Fri Jan 13 2012 - 14:39:26 EST