Latest News
S.Sudan eyes new oil pipelines after independence
By [unknown placeholder $article.art_field1$]
Feb 16, 2011 - 7:07:56 AM


S.Sudan eyes new oil pipelines after independence

Wed Feb 16, 2011 2:41pm GMT

* New oil finds might need new pipelines-party official

* Also interested in transport links to Kenya, Djibouti, DRC

By Jeremy Clarke

JUBA, Sudan, Feb 16 (Reuters) - South Sudan will consider setting up new oil pipelines if it finds fresh reserves of crude after independence, an official said on Wednesday, suggesting a move that could antagonise Khartoum.

South Sudan is due to secede from the north in July after its voters overwhelmingly chose to declare independence in a referendum last month -- a vote promised in a 2005 peace deal that ended decades of civil war with the north.

Under the terms of the accord, the north currently gets half of the revenues from oil drilled in the south.

At the moment, the landlocked south is entirely dependent on north Sudan's pipelines and Red Sea port to get its crude to market.

On Tuesday the south's ruling party said it would stop splitting oil revenues after separation but would continue to pay fees to use the north's pipelines.

Any alternative pipelines could deprive the north of revenue at a time when it is struggling to diversify its economy to make up for the looming loss of the south.

No one was immediately available from the north's dominant National Congress Party to comment.

"If there are more oil finds that will justify building new pipelines, then those will be built," the secretary general of the south's ruling Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) Pagan Amum told reporters, without specifying routes.

Amum said the landlocked country would also be interested in developing broader transport links to ports in Kenya, Djibouti and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

"Southern Sudan is emerging as a landlocked country and it will develop different, alternative routes to access the seas. Southern Sudan will be looking not to be reliant on one single outlet like Port Sudan," he said.

Amum earlier in the week said there were hopes for new oil finds in the southern states of Jonglei, Lakes and Eastern Equatoria. The states include the region's largely unexplored oil Block B, controlled by a consortium led by France's Total (TOTF.PA).

Oil has been the lifeblood of both northern and southern economies, and South Sudan is the source of around 75 percent of the 500,000 barrel per day output.

Kenya has already asked investors to fund its $22 billion share of a planned corridor that would connect Ethiopia and South Sudan to the Kenyan coast with railways, roads, telecommunications cables and a 1,400 km pipeline.

Analysts have warned that any new pipelines would be expensive and take years to build, leaving South Sudan dependent on the northern routes for the near future.

(Editing by Andrew Heavens and Jane Baird)

© Copyright by