Juba — The speech the President delivered to the Sudan National Legislature on the current oil crisis was yesterday tabled in parliament for deliberation.
H.E the President had stated that the crisis has reached a stage that is unacceptable. He explained that on the 6th of December, 2011 his office was informed by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning that the Ministry of Petroleum and Mining had informed it that all shipments which are leaving through Port Sudan should pay 32.2 dollars per barrel before they leave the port.
He also said that his office was informed that four ships carrying 3.5 Barrels of Dar blend were detained by Khartoum. He further explained that Khartoum has also detained four ships from docking at Port Sudan. He said that they were purchased with 2.8 million dollars but they were unable to collect them. He also said that eight vessels remain under the control of the Government of Sudan with oil worth 630 million dollars. He also stated that they have also taken 185 million dollars from South Sudan oil. He said they are diverting 120,000 barrels per day for their refineries in Khartoum which is 75 percent. The President said that the diversion of South Sudan crude oil is vital to the security and welfare of the people of South Sudan.
The decision to shut down oil operation in South Sudan was unanimously decided by the Council of Ministers on January 20, 2012 with immediate effect on crude oil belong to South Sudan. H.E the President instructed the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning to initiate contingency plans for revenue collection and allocation and accelerate the increase of non-oil revenues. He also said that safely, security and health of the citizens of South Sudan remain top priorities. He also said that they are working with the African Union and other allies to reach an agreement with the Sudan Government if it is for the benefit of people of South Sudan.
The parliament deliberated the statement and finally referred it four specialized committees to be headed by the chairperson of Energy, Mining, Commerce, and Industry Hon. Henry D. Odwar; Committee of Health and HIV/AIDS; Committee of Development, Economy and Finance; and the Committee of Land, Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment to enrich the statement and incorporate the observations and recommendations before presenting it back to the August House for endorsement.
The sitting was attended by the 188 members from the SSNLA and 26 members from the South Sudan Council of States. It was briefed by the minister for Energy who said that the shut down ongoing and indicated that about 90% of pipelines are successfully shut down. He also reported that the ministry is considering alternative pipelines Kenya, Ethiopia, Congo and Central African Republic. The minister for Finance also said that life will go on. He explained that there is no alarm of inadequate funds adding that the Government will manage the little resources it has.