Sudan and China are close to signing new deals on oil and gas exploration that Chinese companies would carry out in the African country, Sudan’s ambassador to China Ahmed Shawir said in an interview with the Sudan News Agency (SUNA).
Sudan’s oil and gas ministry and Chinese corporations are currently discussing the potential deals that are soon expected to lead to the signing of important agreements, according to the ambassador’s words carried by Sudan Tribune.
The first project of Chinese companies overseas was in Sudan, and China has long been a strategic partner in the oil and gas sector of Sudan, especially with China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), which operates several projects in the western and southern parts of Sudan.
Sudan is estimated to be currently producing around 120,000 bpd, after South Sudan seceded in 2011, taking most of the oil production of the former larger country.
South Sudan broke from Sudan in 2011 and took with it around 350,000 bpd in oil production. After South Sudan’s secession from Sudan, the two countries have been mutually dependent on oil revenues, because the south has 75 percent of the oil reserves, while the north has the only current transport route for the oil to international markets.
But then civil war in South Sudan broke out in 2013 that further complicated oil production. And the oil price crash the following year additionally affected oil income for the ravaged economies of both countries.
Last month, Sudan and South Sudan deployed a joint military force along their border to protect oil fields and pipelines from criminal activity.
Earlier this year, the two countries agreed to jointly repair oil infrastructure that was damaged during the bloody civil war that resulted in the split in 2011.
At the end of June, the warring factions in South Sudan signed the so-called Khartoum Declaration of Agreement, in which the parties to the South Sudan conflict declared a permanent ceasefire and the ministers of Sudan and South Sudan explored ways to rehabilitate the oil sector in South Sudan.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com