December 18, 2016 (KHARTOUM) - South Sudanese Petroleum Minister Ezekiel Lol Gatkouth Sunday arrived in Khartoum for talks with his Sudanese counterpart on the oil transit fees, as result of the collapse of oil prices.
In August 2013, South Sudan agreed to pay to Khartoum $9.10 for the oil produced in Upper Nile state and $11 for that of Unity region. Also Juba agreed to pay the Transitional Financial Assistance (TFA) to the average of the agreed oil transportation fees.
Despite the rise in oil prices recently to over $54 for the barrel, they remain far from the over 100 dollar per barrel when the two countries signed the oil deal in 2013.
Leading a delegation including officials from South Sudan central bank, finance and oil ministry, and the Nilepet, Gatkouth is expected to sign an new agreement Monday.
The official news agency SUNA reported that oil Minister Mohamed Zayed Awad held a meeting with the visiting minster to discuss the renewal of the oil agreement which will expire by the end of the year.
The visit comes after a meeting of joint technical committees chaired by the undersecretaries of oil ministries in the two countries on the review of oil fees to cope with the falling oil prices.
Minister Awad said his ministry is willing to provide Juba with all the data related to oil blocks in South Sudan. Also, he reiterated readiness to train South Sudanese oil workers.
According to SUNA, Gatkouth called to strengthen joint cooperation as they plan to resume oil production in the Unity region outside Bentinu. He added that such cooperation will benefit to the two countries.