Sudan In Talks With Foreign Oil Firms To Boost Crude Production

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By Tsvetana Paraskova, Oilprice.com

Sudan has discussed the development of its oil industry following the removal of many U.S. sanctions on the country—including on oil and petrochemical industries—with Russia’s Lukoil and with other firms from Europe and Canada, Sudan’s Oil Minister Abdul Rahman Osman said on Tuesday.

“There are many companies that are not committed yet, but they have sent emissaries or they are already negotiating in order to see their potential in coming into Sudan,” Osman said on the sidelines of the Abu Dhabi Petroleum Exhibition & Conference (ADIPEC), as quoted by Reuters.

According to Sudan’s minister, companies are interested in developing onshore projects as well as offshore natural gas projects in the Red Sea.

Lukoil is in talks for new projects in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Kuwait, and Sudan, the Russian company’s CEO Vagit Alekperov said at the same ADIPEC event on Monday.

Alekperov was planning to hold talks with Sudan’s oil minister regarding cooperation in the African country.

“He also asked to meet and discuss certain projects in the territory of Sudan, which has not been viewed before by the company as interesting for our investments,” Russia’s news agency TASS quoted Alekperov as saying, referring to the Sudanese oil minister.

On October 12, the U.S. lifted a 20-year-old trade embargo on Sudan, removing many companies from the list of specially designated entities, including the petroleum sector. The lifting of the oil-related sanctions is seen as a much-needed impetus to the economy of Sudan, which remains one of the poorest countries. When South Sudan seceded from Sudan in 2011, it took away three-quarters of the oil production of Sudan. The current oil production in Sudan is some 88,000 bpd, according to Reuters.

Sudan’s economy is set to recover gradually following the lifting of the U.S. sanctions, Sudanese Finance Minister Mohamed Othman Rukabi said right after the removal of the embargo.

“Lifting the sanctions leads to increasing growth and production rates, but in order to benefit from this chance we must bring down inflation, increase exports, decrease imports and government spending, lift subsidies on basic goods and attract foreign investment,” Reuters quoted Rukabi as saying at an event last month.

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