Sudan crude oil output to rise to 500,000 bpd
KHARTOUM (Reuters) - Sudan will add 30,000 barrels per day of crude with a new oilfield in the north, hiking its total production to 500,000 bpd, an official said on Tuesday.
Sudan's economy is heavily dependent on crude and the south -- where most of the oil is located -- is hurtling towards independence in a January 9 referendum on secession as part of a 2005 peace deal ending Africa's longest north-south civil war.
"Vice President Ali Osman Taha is going to commission a new addition of 30,000 barrels per day from Block 6 tomorrow," Alsir Sidahmed, the petroleum ministry's media adviser said.
"It's a light blend of oil and they hope this block could reach 100,000 bpd within a few years," he added.
Block 6 is in Southern Kordofan state, which will remain part of the north even if the south secedes next year. It is run by China's CNPC and the state oil company Sudapet.
Sudan is trying to raise production in the north to compensate for the expected secession. Oil accounts for more than 90 percent of Sudan's foreign currency revenues and around 45 percent of its entire budget.
One source in the ministry said the additional production in Block 6 would take output from wells in the north up to around 100,000 bpd.
Sudan had outlined ambitious production hikes over the past six years, but it has been slow to deliver on them. Africa's largest country has been under U.S. economic and trade sanctions since 1997 which has hindered the oil and gas exploration.