Years of civil war has seen Sudan's lucrative oil industry shrink to virtually nothing. But, a pact signed between rival factions in June this year is the precursor to a "second boom", said the country's Petroleum and Gas Minister, Azhari Abdalla Abdelgader at Africa Oil Week in Cape Town.
Sudan started producing oil in 1999. At the time of South Sudan’s secession in 2011, the country was producing 500 000 barrels per day. Two years later, the country was plunged into a civil conflict, and oil production dwindled to 75 000 barrels per day.
“We are now emerging out of the situation. The embargo imposed upon us since 1997 by the US is being lifted. We hope that in the second phase of negotiations with the US, we will put this behind us. That will make an important impact in changing our image and attracting investors.”
“The good news is that things are looking up. The fields that produce oil are poised to flow again, like it was before the secession,” Abdelgader said. The oilfields are coming on line again, with the first oil flowing in August.
He said three ministers are now responsible for sorting out Sudan’s energy requirements, so the economy can grow.
“Because we have sunshine almost 365 days a year",Sudan is looking to add solar power to the energy mix. There is already a small-scale project underway to power the west part of the country, he said.
Nicci Botha has been wordsmithing for more than 20 years, covering just about every subject under the sun and then some. She's strung together words on sustainable development, maritime matters, mining, marketing, medical, lifestyle... and that elixir of life - chocolate. Nicci has worked for local and international media houses including Primedia, Caxton, Lloyd's and Reuters. Her new passion is digital media.
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