November 13, 2010 (KHARTOUM) – The federal minister of oil Lual Deng has invited national oil companies to intensify oil production in block six to reach a million barrel in the future, reported the country’s official news Agency (SUNA) on Monday.
Sudan Oil Minister Lual Deng, who was speaking at a workshop held on Monday in Khartoum on the role of national companies in oil industry in the coming period, revealed that his ministry was planning on beefing up exploration in promising areas.
The minister further asked national oil companies to focus on block six in order to uplift its production to reach a million barrel a day.
Situated on the borders between south Darfur and south Kordofan, block six is the only oil-exploration block entirely located in north Sudan. The block consists of eight oilfields operated by China’s national oil company CNPC.
CNPC produces 95 percent of the block’s total output of 40.000 barrel per day of highly acidic crude whereas the state-owned produces 5 percent, according to figures contained in the report of Sudan’s oil industry on the eve of the referendum, which is produced by the European Coalition on Oil in Sudan (ECOS).
The ECOS’s report states that oil exploration in block six is “highly risky” due to the Darfur conflict, noting that production temporarily slumped by 72 percent after the killing of several engineering personnel in May 2008.
The ECSOC report said that efforts were already underway to build two new flow stations and oil storage tanks with a capacity of 50,000m³.
According to SUNA, the oil ministry is aiming to increase the rate of oil production through new exploration and improvement of current fields to reach 740,000 barrels a day by 2015.
Nearly 80 percent of Sudan’s proven daily output of 490,000 oil barrels is produced from oilfields in the semi-autonomous region of south Sudan, but the pipeline that carries the oil to export terminals and refineries runs through north Sudan.
Under a 2005 peace deal that ended decades of north-south civil war, the south is widely expected to secede from the north in a referendum vote due in January 2011.
The two sides have been splitting proceeds of crude oil in accordance with that peace deal known as the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA).
South Sudan has repeatedly accused north Sudan of hiding bona fide information on oil revenues and tampering with oil contracts.