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[Dehai-WN] (Reuters): Sudan's Heglig oilfield

From: Berhane Habtemariam <Berhane.Habtemariam_at_gmx.de_at_dehai.org>
Date: Mon, 16 Apr 2012 22:09:26 +0200

Sudan's Heglig oilfield

Mon Apr 16, 2012 11:52am GMT

April 16 (Reuters) - South Sudan seized control of the disputed Heglig
oilfield on the border with Sudan last week, edging the two countries closer
to a resumption of all-out war.

Both sides traded claims and counterclaims the field was bombed and damaged
during fighting on Sunday.

Here is the background to the dispute and a look at the oilfield, which
produced about half of Sudan's 115,000 barrel-per-day (bpd) output:


* Fighting has been fuelled by a festering row between the two countries
over issues including the exact position of their shared border, control of
disputed areas, the status of citizens in one another's territories and oil

* Sudan lost three quarters of its oil output when South Sudan seceded in
July 2011. The former civil war foes have since wrangled over how much the
landlocked new nation should pay to export crude via the north to a Red Sea
terminal at Port Sudan.

* In January 2012, South Sudan shut down its entire output of 350,000 bpd to
stop Khartoum from taking oil to make up for what it calls unpaid fees for
transit and use of its facilities.


* Heglig contains a large oilfield which Khartoum controlled until South
Sudan's army seized it last week. The field was central to the north's
economy, which was already reeling from the loss of oil revenues after the
South split off.

* The field is operated by Greater Nile Petroleum Operating Co. (GNPOC), a
consortium of Chinese, Malaysian, Indian and Sudanese companies. GNPOC said
last month it would go ahead with plans to increase output to 70,000 bpd
from 60,000 bpd.

* Production at Heglig - known as the Greater Nile Oil Project - began in
1996 with the development of the Heglig and Unity fields, which are now the
largest in the area.

* A 450,000 bpd pipeline stretches 1,000 miles from the Muglad Basin to an
export terminal near Port Sudan, transporting oil from the Heglig, Unity and
surrounding smaller fields.

* The oilfields within the blocks straddle both countries. While the Unity
field is fully located in the South, parts of the border area around the
Heglig field in Block 2 are still in dispute.

* To back its claim to the field, Khartoum has cited a 2009 ruling by the
Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague that said Heglig was not part of
the disputed Abyei territory. Maps issued by the court appear to put Heglig
in the north.

* Juba hotly contested Khartoum's claim, often citing an internal boundary
marked by British colonial administrators and the ethnicity of the local
population. Many southerners call the area Panthou.

For a graphic on the clashes
<http://graphics.thomsonreuters.com/RNGS/2012/APR/SSUDAN_GC.jpg> here

Sources: Reuters/ <http://www.eia.gov/> www.eia.gov/

(Reporting by David Cutler, London Editorial Reference Unit; Editing by Mark

C Thomson Reuters 2012 All rights reserved


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