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[Dehai-WN] (Reuters): 1. S.Sudan says Khartoum loading more confiscated oil 2. Canada's Africa Oil spuds oil well in Somalia

From: Berhane Habtemariam <Berhane.Habtemariam_at_gmx.de_at_dehai.org>
Date: Tue, 17 Jan 2012 18:15:23 +0100

S.Sudan says Khartoum loading more confiscated oil

Tue Jan 17, 2012 3:58pm GMT

(Adds quote, detail)

By Aaron Maasho

ADDIS ABABA Jan 17 (Reuters) - South Sudan on Tuesday said Sudan had taken
control of 2.15 million barrels of southern oil at Port Sudan, loading oil
onto vessels belonging to Khartoum as both countries argue over how to share
oil revenues.

South Sudan became independent in July under a 2005 peace deal with Khartoum
that ended decades of civil war but bilateral tensions have erupted over a
long list of disputes.

The biggest conflict is over oil revenues - the lifeline of both economies.
Land-locked South Sudan has two thirds of the former unified Sudan's oil
output but needs to pay fees to use northern export facilities.

Sudan said on Sunday it was confiscating oil from landlocked South Sudan as
compensation for what it says are unpaid fees to use Port Sudan and its
pipeline. Juba has said 650,000 barrels were seized in Port Sudan last week.

South Sudan's top negotiator Pagan Amum said Juba had been notified on
Monday by the operator of the pipeline that the government of Sudan decided
to take another 750,000 barrels of oil, ahead of new talks with Sudan in
Addis Ababa.

"And a third notification that today the government of Sudan has also
brought in another vessel to take a further 750,000 barrels. The government
of Sudan as we speak has completed loading the...oil in to its vessels," he

"We have profound concerns that the government of Sudan and President (Omar
Hassan) al-Bashir's recent unilateral actions is causing the collapse of
this week's negotiations, he said.

North Sudan made no immediate comment but Bashir has said Khartoum would
impose an unspecified fee as compensation for unpaid transit fees.

Sudan is demanding $1 billion for unpaid transit fees since July plus $36 a
barrel in the future as transit fee, roughly a third of the export value of
southern oil. Khartoum also wants Juba to share Sudan's external debt of $38

South Sudan pumps around 350,000 bpd, officials have said. Sudan produces
115,000 bpd in its remaining fields but needs it for domestic consumption.

Sudan's government is under pressure to overcome a severe economic crisis
after losing the southern oil, which made up 90 percent of the country's
exports. It generated $5 billion in oil revenues in 2010.

Juba has offered Sudan the sale of discounted oil and other financial help
but neither side shows sign of shifting their positions.

(Reporting by Aaron Maasho in Addis Ababa; writing Ulf Laessing; editing by
Keiron Henderson)

C Thomson Reuters 2012 All rights reserved


Canada's Africa Oil spuds oil well in Somalia

Tue Jan 17, 2012 4:07pm GMT

* Eyes recoverable reserves of 300 mln barrels

* Drilling to take 90 days

* Somali has no proven reserves.

By Abdiqani Hassan

DHAROOR, Somalia, Jan 17 (Reuters) - Canadian oil and gas exploration
company Africa Oil Corp. began drilling an exploratory well in Somalia's
semi-autonomous Puntland region on Tuesday, the first to be sunk in the
country since civil war erupted two decades ago.

While there has been speculation about finding oil in the anarchic Horn of
Africa country for decades, it has no proven hydrocarbon reserves. The
prospect of oil beneath Dharoor's sandy, arid plains has excited officials
of the impoverished region.

"Soon Puntland will be out of hunger and shall stop asking assistance from
the international community. We shall never beg, we shall be begged if the
fuel comes out," Puntland President Abdirahman Mohamud Farole said at the
spudding ceremony.

"This fuel well is not only for Puntland. It will benefit all Somalis if
Somalia becomes one with a common constitution," Farole said, while laying a
foundation stone.

Somalia, mired in conflict since warlords in the early 1990s and then
Islamist militants reduced the government to impotence, represents one of
the final frontiers in Africa to be explored.

Africa Oil and its partners in the two Puntland licences, Australia's Red
Emperor and Range Resources, target prospective resources of over 300
million barrels of recoverable oil.

Horn Petroleum, a newly created oil explorer focused on Puntland, is
drilling the Shabeel-1 and Shabeel North-1 wells within the Dharoor Valley
block. Africa Oil has a 51 percent stake in Horn Petroleum.

"The drilling of Shabeel-1 fuel well is not a one-day decision; it came
after much effort and agreement with Puntland," David Grellman, Horn
Petroleum's president and CEO, said.

Dozens of workers buzzed around the site under the gaze of heavily armed
Puntland troops. Shabeel-1 was spudded on Tuesday, and drilling operations
have also started at Shabeel North-1.

The drilling in the Dharoor valley is a milestone in evaluating Somalia's
oil potential, Grellman said, adding that the drilling would last 90 days.

The site is a humid, barren area of about 2,600 sq km (1,004 sq miles) near
Dharoor town, some 350 km (217 miles) from the port of Bosasso on the Gulf
of Aden.

The Shabeel-1 and Shabeel North-1 prospects are located on a Jurassic aged
rift system, which is part of the same system that has proven to be highly
productive in Yemen.

Puntland's government signed a production-sharing deal in January 2007.

Puntland faced stiff opposition from the Western-backed interim government
at the time, part of which refused to honour a 2005 deal reached with
Australian independent Range Resources, giving it exclusive rights over all
minerals and petroleum.

Relations between Mogadishu and the Puntland authorities are on the mend. A
new U.N.-backed roadmap targets a new federal constitution that brings the
semi-autonomous regions into a closer relationship with central government.

Africa Oil said last year it planned to drill up to eight wells in blocks it
holds interests in across east Africa, including the two in Puntland.
(Writing by Abdi Sheikh; Editing by Richard Lough and Jane Baird)

C Thomson Reuters 2012 All rights reserved


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