Sudan: Sat pics show main collection manifold at Helgig oil field destroyed; South Sudan pres in China for talks this week

Wednesday, 25 April 2012 20:17 AK
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VOA's Joe DeCapua has before and after pics and details.

WSJ reports

China, which for years has taken the bulk of oil exported from Sudan and its former breakaway province, is hosting [South Sudan's President Salva Kiir this week] for talks on energy and infrastructure projects.

Beijing has offered to help build an export pipeline and provide technical help once the crisis with Sudan eases, according to South Sudan's deputy chief of protocol Gum Bol Noah, who accompanied Mr. Kiir to Beijing. The pipeline could cross neighboring Kenya to either the port of Mombasa or Lamu, Mr. Noah said.

China is by far the largest buyer of Sudanese crude, importing about 260,000 barrels a day last year, making Sudan its seventh-largest supplier. Shipments fell sharply after landlocked South Sudan suspended its 350,000 barrels-a-day production in January because of a disagreement over how much it should pay Sudan for transporting oil to its seaport.

South Sudan, under international pressure, last week withdrew its troops from the disputed oil town of Heglig, but Sudan's oil ministry said the fight left oil facilities there in rubble. In the south, 40% to 60% of oil wells have since been damaged by bombings and fighting, Mr. Noah said.