July 4, 2012 (KHARTOUM) - Sudan’s oil ministry and foreign firms, on Tuesday inked exploration contracts for nine blocks located in different parts of the country.
The signing ceremony for was attended by President Omar Al-Bashir and oil minister Awad Al-Jaz.
The government is facing protests rejecting austerity measures issued recently as the country experiencing a severe economic crisis since the loss of the income of oil produced by South Sudan after its independence.
The nine blocks are : C, 19, 18, 15, 12, 11, 10, 9, 8 . They are located in North central, west and east Sudan, SUNA reported They are located in North central, west and east Sudan, SUNA reported
Sudapet, a state-owned oil company, will not spend any money for the fees generated by the exploration works which are estimated at $500 million , Sudanese oil minister Awad Al-Jaz said.
Oil firms involved in these deals are from Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Hong Kong and Nigeria.
The blocks are expected to start production in six months to five years. Sudan will get 80% of their production, the signed deals stipulate.
President Omar Hassan Al-Bashir, in his speech, welcomed the foreign companies who came to invest in the country despite the economic sanctions imposed on Sudan. He further vowed to use all the nation’s capabilities to create the right climate for them.
Seventy-two companies from various continents bid for the new oil blocks.
Azhari Abdalla, director general of the Oil Exploration and Production Administration, told the AFP that there were only six blocks, adding that another block located in Darfur region failed to gain a contract.
Earlier this year Sudan said planning to produce some 180.000 barrel per day. However its current output (115.000 barrel) was affected during the 10-day occupation of Heglig oil fields last April.