S. Sudan: crisis blocks oil shipment

The socio-political crisis in Sudan is already impacting crude oil exports from South Sudan.

The third largest crude oil producer in sub-Saharan Africa, is looking for alternatives to deal with the rehabilitation of some abandoned oil wells.

South Sudan’s crude oil exports through Port Sudan have been delayed following Omar Al-Bashir’s ouster in neighboring Sudan, according to Information Minister, Michael Makuei Lueth.

“The problems in Khartoum, they are in a way affecting this sector because there are certain chemicals that are supposed to be imported via Port Sudan and these are chemicals used for processing the oil,” Lueth told reporters in Juba, South Sudan’s capital. “Unfortunately the staff at the oil companies have joined the strike so there is nobody doing the job over there,” he said.

Landlocked South Sudan exports all its oil via pipelines across its northern neighbor to Port Sudan on the Red Sea. The nation initially said the crisis had not disrupted the flow from its oilfields.

The crisis that stemmed from protests by civilians against rising costs of living has also affected crude processing in Sudan.

South Sudan is revamping production by opening up oilfields that were closed during its civil-war.

Work to resume crude production at Al-Nar, Al-Toor, Manga and Tharjath should meet an April 27 deadline for first oil from the rehabilitated wells, Petroleum Minister Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth said earlier this month.

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