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Sudan expects to seal new oil deals with China

August 23, 2018 (KHARTOUM) – Sudan and China are moving quickly towards inking new deals related to oil exploration, an official said today.

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Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) shakes hands with Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir during a signing ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, September 1, 2015. (Photo Reuters/Parker Song)

" Negotiations are underway between Chinese corporations and the [Sudanese] Oil & Gas ministry that will soon lead to signing important agreements," the Sudanese ambassador in Beijing Ahmed Shawir said.

China has long been Sudan’s top strategic partner in the oil and gas field particularly through China’s National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) which runs several projects in west and southern Sudan.

In an interview with the Sudan News Agency (SUNA) the envoy asserted that these prospective agreements will provide new momentum to work between the two countries in the field of oil production and will elevate it to pre-2011 level when South Sudan became an independent state.

He also noted that China has been understanding to the circumstances which led to faltering in oil production after the south’s secession.

"China recognizes the importance of Sudan because the first project by Chinese companies in foreign oilfields was in Sudan and the success of China encouraged many countries to deal with it in the oil sector," the ambassador said.

The recent peace accords between South Sudan foes have revived prospects for the rehabilitation and of South Sudan’s oilfields and pumping its production through the pipelines running in Sudan’s territory.

Beijing has complained recently over Sudan’s debt arrears that resulted from Khartoum’s purchase of China’s share of oil produced to cover domestic consumption. As of 2016 the total debt owed by Sudan to China totalled $2 billion.

Sudan’s production of oil is estimated to be at 120,000 barrels per day (bpd) after the secession of South Sudan which hosted three-quarters of oil production pre-2011.

(ST)