‘Technical glitch’ halts South Sudan oil export

South Sudanese President Kiir speaks during a news conference with his Sudanese counterpart al-Bashir at Khartoum Airport22 May 2013, News Wires – A technical problem with a pumping station caused the stoppage this week of crude oil flows from South Sudan to neighbour Sudan, according to a report.

Tensions between the oil-producing countries had reportedly risen slightly after the flow of oil suddenly stopped, with accusations of political meddling reported.

However, a South Sudanese official told Reuters on Wednesday that there were no such reasons behind the halt in flows.

“We have just received information that these technical problems apparently are being addressed and the pumping station number two apparently is going to open sometime in the course of today,” Foreign Minister Nhial Deng Nhial told the news wire.

South Sudan will resume pumping 200,000 barrels a day northwards on Wednesday, he said.

The two neighbours have been at loggerheads since the South gained independence almost two years ago, taking with it about two-thirds of the once unified country’s total oil reserves.

South Sudan has no export infrastructure of its own, and must pipe its oil through Sudan. Early last year, South Sudan accused its neighbour of stealing its oil and shut in all of its production, a situation which has only recently been resolved.

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