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S. Sudan’s first oil shipment reaches Khartoum

April 14, 2013 (JUBA)- South Sudan has confirmed that its first oil shipment, destined for international markets, reached the Sudanese territory on Saturday, raising hopes for reviving the country’s turbulent economy.

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South Sudan oil exports have to go through its northern neighbour (Reuters)

Stephen Dhiew Dau, South Sudan’s Petroleum and Mining minister said authorities in neighbouring Sudan acknowledged receiving the first crude oil shipped from the young nation’s territory, following last week’s resumption of oil production.

The minister, in an interview with Sudan Tribune, further said oil companies, operators, and those involved in oil production and shipment to the international markets, through Sudan, also confirmed receiving its oil.

“These are official reports which we have received since I launched resumption of oil production”, Dau said Sunday

South Sudan halted its oil production early last year after a dispute arose between it and neighbouring Sudan over transit fees. The situation worsened after the young nation accused Khartoum of confiscating its oil entitlements, which they claim was illegally sold in international markets.

The minister, however, added that first consignment of the oil reached Sudanese territory on Saturday, a day after the Sudanese President; Omer Al-Bashir visited the South Sudan capital, Juba where he held talks with President Salva Kiir.

The two leaders, during Friday’s meeting, discussed a range of issues, on the current unresolved post-session issued, but failed to agree on the issue of the disputed oil-producing region of Abyei.

Bashir, at a joint news conference shortly after one-one- discussion with his counterpart, and several government officials, said they have agreed to work together to implement September 2012 cooperation agreement and strengthen bilateral cooperation between the two nations.

Meanwhile, Dau said he expects South Sudan’s oil to continue flowing to the international market through the Sudanese territory over the three year period agreed in the September, last year.

The minister, on Saturday, also visited oil fields in Unity to monitor progress in the area, ever since oil production commenced.

“The other reason for visiting the oil fields was to ensure increased exploration of other wells together with our partners. We want them to help in the construction of affordable pipeline connections. We need to ensure maximum production on oil production by 2014,” Dau stressed during the interview.

South Sudan, the Petroleum minister earlier said, was producing up to 10,000 barrels of oil per day from its Tharjath oil fields in Unity state.

The resumption of oil production showed our commitment to implementing cooperation agreement which the two presidents signed in September last year, he emphasized.

In a separate development, SUDD Petroleum Company has affirmed its commitment and readiness to work with the country’s ministry of petroleum and mining as it resumes oil production.

“On our side, we have been ready for oil resumption through coordination the ministry of petroleum and mining. All 24 wells here in Tharjath with all facilities have been ready and already started resumption and flow of the oil to Sudan”, SUDD president, Emi Suhardi Hohd Fadzil said in a statement on SSTV.

He further said the company expects it oil to reach international markets by 20 April.

Our technical staff members are already working on the ground and we will give our full commitment to operate in a safe manner, for the well being of South Sudan, our shareholder, our stakeholder as well as our nations, Fadzil assured.

(ST)