27 February 2013

Sudan: Indonesia Mulling Oil Exploration in Sudan - Official

Khartoum — The Sudanese government has offered Indonesia oil and gas exploration opportunities in the country for its companies, an official in Jakarta said. Indonesia news agency (ANTARA) quoted deputy minister for energy and mineral resources Susilo Siswoutomo as saying that Sudan has "abundant" reserves of oil.

He made the remarks during his meeting with a visiting Sudanese delegation led by Parliament Speaker Ahmed Ibrahim al-Tahir. "Sudan has produced quite a lot of crude oil reaching 500,000 barrels a day. The reserves are still abundant," Siswoutomo said.

He noted a recent meeting between Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and Sudan's Omer Hassan al-Bashir in Cairo on the sidelines of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation summit. Sudan official news agency (SUNA) at the time quoted Bashir as calling on Indonesian companies to invest in his country. Yudhoyono echoed his call.

Landlocked South Sudan shut down its entire oil output of 350,000 barrels per day (bpd) a year ago after failing to agree export and transit fees with Khartoum. It had hoped to be producing 230,000 bpd by December.

South Sudan split from Sudan in 2011 after decades of civil war and a landslide referendum for independence. Southern oil represented more than a third of Khartoum's revenues and its largest source of hard currency, leaving the government struggling for alternatives since the independence.

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