February 14, 2013 (KHARTOUM) – Sudan will manage to boost its oil production to 200,000 barrels per day (bpd) by year end, a parliamentary committee member said on Thursday.
- A December 27 , 2012 file photo shows Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir (C) inaugurating the Hadida oil field located on the border between East Darfur state and South Kordofan, the country’s main oil-producing area (Getty Images)
In statements to Sudan’s official news agency (SUNA), MP Babiker Mohamed Tom, who sits on the economic committee at the national assembly, praised the oil ministry’s exploration efforts across the country.
The lawmaker also lauded the ministry for building airports, roads and hospitals in the states where it is operating. He pointed out that oil played an instrumental role in developing the petroleum sector allowing for the creation of a large pool of qualified engineers and geologists who worked in Chinese and Malaysian companies.
These companies supported the country’s finances through their payment of corporate taxes, he said.
Tom pointed out that oil exports accounted for 91% of Sudan’s national income until South Sudan’s secession in July 2011 after which this figure dropped to 10%.
The East African country, which currently pumps 136,000-140,000 bpd, lost three-quarters of its output when South Sudan seceded. The drop in oil, its main source of budget and trade revenues, has thrown its economy into turmoil.
Sudan had originally planned to reach 180,000 bpd by the end of the 2012, but its major Heglig oilfield was damaged during a brief occupation by South Sudan’s army and border fighting between the two countries last April.
Several oilfields were inaugurated over the last few months in Sudan which added around 20,000 barrels to the daily production.
In a related issue Tom praised the recent deal to export Chadian oil through Sudan saying it will create new job opportunities and bring a new source of hard currency.
The agreement was announced during a visit by Chadian president Idriss Deby to Khartoum earlier this month where he met with Sudan’s Omer Hassan al-Bashir. No details were given about the terms and logistics of the arrangement.
A year ago, South Sudan shut down its entire oil output of 350,000 barrels per day after failing to agree on export and transit fees with Khartoum.
Sudan was counting on the transit fees to plug part of the budget hole created by the country’s partition.