26 May 2013

Sudan: Indian Oil Company Resumes Production in S. Sudan

Photo: Embassy of the Republic of Sudan
Sudan is one of the rich countries in natural resources, oil, minerals, and hydro-electric generation resources.

Juba — ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL), the overseas investment arm of state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC), has resumed crude oil production from its oilfields in Sudan, the Indian Times reported.

South Sudan resumed oil production last month after over a year of shut down, prompted by a dispute over transit fees with neighbouring Sudan.

OVL, according to the Indian daily, holds 24.125% stake in Block 5A and 25% in Block 1, 2 and 4 in Sudan. After South Sudan's split in July 2011, Block 5A reportedly went to the new nation, while fields in Block 1, 2 and 4 were split between the two countries.

"Production from Block 5A in South Sudan, which was producing 16,000 barrels per day before the shutdown of operations in January last year, resumed on April 6," OVL Managing Director, Dinesh Sarraf told the Indian daily.

Sarraf, who reportedly steered OVL out of the post-Imperial Energy acquisition debacle, said the company has been able to get joint operator ship of Block 5A with Petronas of Malaysia.

"We have been able to convince Petronas to share operatorship with us," he said.

Currently, Block 5A is said to be producing less than 5,000 barrels per day and is expected to reach pre-shutdown levels before the end of the current fiscal.

Sarraf, however, said the company continues to explore and discover new oil reserves in both Block 5A and Block 1, 2 and 4.

South Sudan took with it 75% of the oil it previously shared with Sudan, when it seceded from the latter nearly two years ago. Revenue from oil, prior to the shut down, accounted for up to 98% of the new nation's budget.

Presently, OVL reportedly has 32 projects in 16 countries, of which 11 are producing, five are under development and 14 other are in the exploratory phase.

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