14 January 2014, Khartoum – South Sudan’s minister of Petroleum and Mining, Stephen Dhieu Dau, has arrived in Khartoum on a previously unannounced visit to discuss restarting oil production in Unity state following government army’s recapture of the key state from rebel control
The Bentiu and Tharjath oilfields are situated in the Unity state and are believed to be producing around 45,000 barrels per day (bpd).
In Juba, a senior government official said that Dau is in Khartoum to deliver a message of “full commitment” to implementing cooperation agreement
“Yes, the minister is Khartoum. He went to deliver a message of assurance from the president of the commitment of the government to fully implement cooperation agreement,” the undersecretary at the ministry of Petroleum and Mining Machar Ader said on Sunday.
Dau, who held talks with his Sudanese counterpart, Makkawi Mohamed Awad, on Sunday, told reporters in Khartoum that Juba seeks to restart oil production in Unity state, saying that this requires directing Sudan’s Greater Nile Petroleum Operating Company (GNPOC) and South Sudan’s Nile Petroleum Corporation (NILEPET) to work together for this purpose.
He pointed that talks addressed ways for helping oil operating companies in South Sudan particularly as they face security challenges in Unity state, adding that they discussed problems facing oil companies including supply, equipments, and technical needs.
The minister further said they also tackled needs of oil companies for Sudanese workers and engineers in Unity and Upper Nile states oilfields, affirming that committees from both sides would soon look into the issue.
Makkawi for his part expressed readiness to immediately meet requests made by South Sudan’s petroleum minister so that oil could flow for the benefit of both peoples.
Oil companies in Unity state from China and India evacuated their workers after fighting broke out and made sure to shut down the oilfields there.
Ader said the oil in Upper Nile state continues to flow normally. “There is no interruption in the production and flow of oil in Upper Nile State. It is continuing to flow normally”, Ader told Sudan Tribune in an exclusive interview.
– Sudan Tribune