Sudan: Oil Engineer Hamid - A Combination of Modesty And Hard Work

16 February 2020

The Energy and Mining Ministry's Undersecretary Hamid Suleiman Hamid was under spotlight throughout the last fortnight as he shuttled along the oil pipeline that carries the crude from the fields in the Midwest down to the Khartoum oil refinery here.

Engineer Hamid was very much alarmed by the malfunction in the pipeline that caused the refinery to come to a grinding halt a matter that also triggered snaky car queues at the petrol stations throughout Khartoum and the regional towns.

Dr. Hamid deserted his comfortable chair at the Ministry and stayed there in the desert with engineers, technicians and workers battling to clear the pipeline from clogs of wax and impurities that extended over 77 kilometers.

Scores of engineers and technicians quit their working places in the oil fields, oil companies, the refineries and in the pumping stations and rushed to give a hand when they learned about the stoppage.

Even oilmen working in neighboring South Sudan also rushed to join the effort. "It is a national epic we have come through," commented Engineer Hamid in a TV report from the scene.

Hamid was keen to continuously update the public on the progress of the repair work sticking to the scientific facts that the line was not supplied with enough naphtha and other chemicals that thin and warm the crude inside and ease its flow.

He was also keen not to go into a conspiracy theory behind what had happened, though there were indications for this (electric cables were pulled out of their sockets in 20 oil wells), contending with a brief press note that: "we are conducting a legal investigation."

Hamid had obtained his engineering degree from Moscow University. He worked for several years in Sudan's oil industry. During the defunct regime of Omar Albashir he was demoted and relegated to a marginal post in the Ministry because he used to object to any violations. In October 2019 Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok promoted and appointed Dr. Hamid to the office of the Energy and Mining Ministry's Undersecretary.

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