Home | News    Wednesday 9 July 2008

Sudan talks to Chinese firms for help in Darfur oil exploration

separation
increase
decrease
separation
separation

July 8, 2008 (LONDON) — State-linked Chinese oil services companies are in talks to help Sudan exploit its crude reserves in its troubled Darfur region with the Sudanese army providing security, a company official confirmed Tuesday.

Sudan oil map"Preparations are ongoing to launch a small campaign of 1,000 kilometers of seismic" works at Block 12A in Northern Darfur, Sudan’s country manager at Ansan Wikfs, a partner of Sudan-owned Sudapet, Denis Rey told the Dow Jones.

Based in Cayman Islands, Ansan Wikfs Investments Limited was formed in 1991. The company has operations in Yemen and Sudan. Ansan is an independent oil and mineral resources holding company engaged in the acquisition, exploration, development and operation of petroleum and mineral properties.

The area to prospect is half the size of the Philippines. This would be the first exploration move deep into the region since conflict erupted in 2003.

Seismic work sends vibrations to the ground in order to locate oil and gas reserves. Commercial crude production starts several years after any promising finds.

In an e-mail to Dow Jones Newswires, Ansan Wikfs’ Rey said the partners in Block 12A had considered using BGP, the geophysical services unit of state-owned China National Petroleum Corp. CNPC, which controls New-York-listed PetroChina Co. Ltd. (PTR).

PetroChina has already come under fire from U.S. campaigners for its parent company’s investments in Sudan.

However, timing issues meant the partners are also in talks with Zhongyuan Petroleum Exploration Bureau, owned by China’s state-run Sinopec (SNP), Asia’s largest oil refining and petrochemical enterprise, which is "ready to import (vibratory equipment) to Sudan for this contract," Rey added.

Sudan is one of Africa’s largest oil producers with output of 500,000 barrels a day. More than 200,000 barrels a day are imported by China, making Sudan its fourth-largest provider of crude.

Given "the vulnerable condition of civilians in Darfur as the conflict there continues," the beginning of seismic work on the block would warrant "serious scrutiny and concern," said Nina McMurry, an advocacy analyst at the Washington-based Sudan Divestment Task Force.

The Task Force, part of the Genocide Intervention Network, is campaigning for investors to sell shares in companies deemed complicit in what some say is genocide in Darfur.

Ansan Wikfs’ Rey said a memorandum of understanding was signed in the first quarter of this year between the Darfur block operators and South Africa’s PetroSA, which holds neighboring acreage, to swap seismic contracts and support and to share information.

Sudapet, Ansan and Saudi Arabia’s Al-Qahtani Group are the joint-operators of Block 12A, Rey said.

Smaller shareholders include Hi-Tech Petroleum Group, a venture partly-owned by Ali Al-Bashir, brother of Sudanese president Omar Al-Bashir; and Libyan-controlled All Africa Investment Corp. The other shareholders as well as ZPEB and PetroSA didn’t return requests for comment. All Africa Investment couldn’t be reached for comment.

Rey added the Darfur block partners had an option to use CNPC’s geophysical unit as it is already doing seismic work in the South African-controlled block.

Other people involved in the Darfur block confirmed BGP had looked into working in Block 12A and had asked for an assessment of security conditions there.

"As to my knowledge, I don’t think BGP has a MOU with Sudapet on the seismic survey in Block 12A," Han Shaoguo, senior vice-president of BGP International, said.

ARMY TO PROTECT EXPLORATION AREA

Sudan’s government demands "that the Sudanese army be deployed and in control of the area to be prospected before operations start," Rey said in an e-mail response to questions.

A border station called Karab Al Tom, located between Block 12A and PetroSA’s acreage, "is now under (Khartoum’s) military control," he added. "We are awaiting progress reports about the situation more in the south of Block 12A before awarding contracts and make (sic) progress on this campaign."

Seismic surveys will only begin once the army has "provided security passages in the area," an unnamed person with knowledge of the oil exploration plans confirmed.

Sudan’s Oil Minister Zubair Ahmed al-Hassan told Dow Jones Newswires in April that members of the consortium "are not operating up until now because (they) are afraid... of the image in the media saying things are terrible in Darfur."

(ST)

Comments on the Sudan Tribune website must abide by the following rules. Contravention of these rules will lead to the user losing their Sudan Tribune account with immediate effect.

- No inciting violence
- No inappropriate or offensive language
- No racism, tribalism or sectarianism
- No inappropriate or derogatory remarks
- No deviation from the topic of the article
- No advertising, spamming or links
- No incomprehensible comments

Due to the unprecedented amount of racist and offensive language on the site, Sudan Tribune tries to vet all comments on the site.

There is now also a limit of 400 words per comment. If you want to express yourself in more detail than this allows, please e-mail your comment as an article to comment@sudantribune.com

Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.
  • 10 July 2008 15:08, by Uncle Louish

    Chinese oil companies must go back to China. Until the end of Darfur crisis we shall not demand any exploration of oil reserves in the troubled Darfur region.

    Mr. Bashir, could you humbly accept the fact that you are a tyrant, a traitor and a terrorist whose conscience is seared with the wealth of the heroines and heroes and soon they will demand what you them. Save your yourself from the abyss of unjust leadership!!

    Your doom is at hand!

    Uncle Louish, the humble Gent.

    repondre message

  • 10 July 2008 15:15, by Uncle Louish

    Chinese oil companies must go back to China. Until the end of Darfur crisis we shall not demand any exploration of oil reserves in the troubled Darfur region.

    Mr. Bashir, could you humbly accept the fact that you are a tyrant, a traitor and a terrorist whose conscience is seared with the wealth of the heroines and heroes and soon they will demand what you owe them. Save your yourself from the abyss of unjust leadership!!

    Your doom is at hand!

    Uncle Louish, the humble Gent.

    repondre message

  • 11 July 2008 10:01, by gatluak Reat Nhial

    Hi Sudanese,
    nice to hear such a news by if it will done itself however, Darfur issue had upset many minds and mostly Africans for such tragedy and catastrophe while the world is full of rights and lawful justices.oil issue had affected all over Sudan b/se whatever loss many lives is oil matter therefore assistant may not be only Darfurians this may include South Sudanese
    as extension of peace within Sudan in General.we always expects Chinese to be the right people to operates our oil in Sudan minus South Sudan due to previous atrocities that China did to us. therefore oil company within South Sudan must be operates either by Russian or Americans as my personal ambition.
    with many thanks.

    View online : http://www.sudantribune.com

    repondre message

Comment on this article


 
 

The following ads are provided by Google. SudanTribune has no authority on it.


Sudan Tribune

Promote your Page too

Latest Comments & Analysis


South Sudan: Justice remains elusive, one year on 2014-12-17 04:17:40 By Elizabeth Deng December 16 2014 - A year after the outbreak of violence in Juba last December, hopes of accountability for abuses linked to the conflict remain distant. Despite repeated calls (...)

President Salva Kiir has betrayed his people and the nation 2014-12-17 04:15:00 By James Gatdet Dak December 15, 2014 - After many painful decades of destructive war of liberation against successive oppressive regimes in Khartoum, people of South Sudan gained their hard won (...)

Sudan protects terrorists 2014-12-15 04:29:57 By Kimberly Hollingsworth* December 15, 2014 - Sudan used to be the heart of Africa; now, Sudan is the heart of international terrorist organizations. Sudan is the hub for training extremists. (...)


MORE








Latest Press Releases


Norway grants US $1.9 million for humanitarian needs in Darfur 2014-12-16 06:47:08 The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) - KHARTOUM Norway helps provide nutritious food to malnourished families in Sudan 14 December 2014 KHARTOUM – The United Nations World Food Programme (...)

Darfur Association "disheartened" by ICC decision to not meet them 2014-12-14 05:50:13 12 December 2014 RE: DPANY Requests/Direction of the OTP in the Situation of Darfur Dear Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda, We, the Darfur People's Association of New York, are disheartened by your (...)

REDRESS calls for the immediate release of Sudan’s distinguished human rights lawyer 2014-12-10 09:02:53 December 9, 2014 ­­ — REDRESS, and many other individuals and organisations around the world, are extremely concerned by the continuing secret detention of Dr. Amin Mekki Medani. On Saturday, 4 (...)


MORE

Copyright © 2003-2014 SudanTribune - All rights reserved.