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Scores killed as South Sudan factions resume fighting

JUBA, South Sudan (AP) — Fifty-two soldiers and rebels have been killed in recent fighting in South Sudan’s contested state of Unity, said a military official Saturday, blaming rebels for the latest violation of a peace deal signed last month. Rebel forces have attacked positions held by government troops, killing 14 of them and wounding 42 others, military spokesman Col. Philip Aguer told The Associated Press. Government troops have killed 38 rebels and have captured two others along with 50 rocket-propelled grenades, he said. The clashes, which started Monday and continued Friday, took place in Leer and Koch, he said. The death toll of 52 was for fighting in Koch and not Leer, which government troops had to abandon under intense fire from the rebels. Aguer gave no civilian death toll from the fighting. Rebels are also mobilizing to attack government troops in parts of Upper Nile state, he […]

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South Sudan Budgeted $850 Million to Crush Rebellion, UN Says

South Sudan, one of the world’s most corrupt and least developed countries, prepared an $850 million budget to crush a rebellion shortly after the insurgency began almost two years ago, the United Nations said. The supply of Israeli automatic rifles, Chinese missiles, Russian attack helicopters and amphibious vehicles “has been instrumental in prolonging and escalating the war,” now in its 21st month, and enabled large-scale violations of humanitarian law, according to a yet to be published interim report by the UN Panel of Experts on South Sudan. South Sudan’s pursuit of “greater air and riverine capacity” is part of a strategy against a mobile insurgency that relies on small arms, the UN says in the report, obtained by Bloomberg from a person who asked not to be identified because it hasn’t yet been made public. South Sudan army spokesman Philip Aguer said the military needed more weapons, gunships and […]

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Sudan builds trenches around oil fields: minister

Sudan oil and gas minister Mohamed Awad Zayid has revealed that Sudanese security forces have dug trenches around oil fields on the border with South Sudan to fend off acts of sabotage. "The trenches will protect the oil fields from sabotage," Zayid was quoted as saying by the state-owned Sudan Vision daily Friday. Zayid did not mention the oil fields nor the group or country that Sudan suspects of sabotaging the vital facilities. But the nearest oil fields, located on the Sudan-South Sudan border, is Heglig, which produces more than half of Sudan’s current total of 133,000 b/d of crude oil. Article continues below… Platts Global Alert is a complete real-time information service for the global energy industry, providing breaking reports of deals done, price indicators for crude and products and more than 200 end-of-day assessments. Heglig, whose ownership is being disputed by both Sudan and South Sudan, is […]

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Report: South Sudan’s fate hinges on oil

Durability of Salva Kiir, president of South Sudan, may be closely linked to oil production in the war-torn country. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI JUBA, South Sudan, May 26 (UPI) — The political unity holding South Sudan together may hinge on battles over oil-producing regions along the country’s northern border, an analyst said. When it gained independence from Sudan in 2011, the landlocked country gained control over much of the oil-producing regions, but Sudan maintained its grip on export infrastructure. Conflict erupted in South Sudan in 2013 when Salva Kiir, the country’s president, accused former Vice President Riek Machar of staging a coup. Rebel forces two years on are waging battle for control over Paloch near the Sudanese border, the only part of South Sudan still producing oil. "Oil is South Sudan’s bread and butter," Luke Patey, a researcher at the Danish Institute for International Studies in Copenhagen, told […]

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South Sudan Repels Rebels’ Oil-Field Attack

ENLARGE File pictures showing South Sudan President Salva Kiir, left, and the leader of South Sudan’s largest rebel group and former Vice-President Riek Machar. Photo: Agence France-Presse/Getty Images KAMPALA, Uganda—South Sudan’s army has repelled a rebel attack on oil fields in Upper Nile state, allowing the country’s only functional crude oil facility to remain open, officials said Thursday. After capturing the Upper Nile state capital Malakal over the weekend, several thousand rebels loyal to former Vice President Riek Machar pushed toward the oil fields. But government troops backed by helicopter gunships, tanks and armored cars successfully defended one of the country’s major economic assets. “The rebels have been defeated” said military spokesman Col. Philip Aguer. “Oil fields are fully under our control”. By Wednesday evening both sides had lost dozens of fighters, but government troops beat back the rebel assault, the army and witnesses said. The rebel assault was […]

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Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan Sign Nile Dam Declaration

ENLARGE Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi, right, next to his Sudanese counterpart Omar Bashir during a welcoming ceremony in the Sudanese capital Khartoum on Monday. Photo: Agence France-Presse/Getty Images Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia took a step Monday to defuse tensions around Ethiopia’s construction of a massive dam on the Blue Nile, which has threatened to upset the geopolitical balance in the region over how to share water from the River Nile. Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi, Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir and Ethiopian Prime Minister Halemariam Desalegn signed a declaration in Sudan’s capital Khartoum, pledging to better share the Nile’s waters, an Egyptian presidency official familiar with the matter said. Ethiopia has said the project is necessary to produce much-needed electricity, but the building of the dam has been controversial, with some scientists predicting it could disrupt the flow of the river into Egypt, where it provides much […]

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South Sudan to Cancel Presidential Election Amid Civil War

(Bloomberg) — South Sudan’s government plans to cancel presidential elections scheduled for June 30 and extend its own term by two years amid efforts to end the conflict in the oil-producing country. “In our quest for peace, the cabinet has decided to call off the elections and extend the lifespan of the elected positions so that we give peace a chance,” Information Minister Michael Makuei Lueth told reporters today in the capital, Juba. The main opposition party welcomed the move. President Salva Kiir and the legislature’s tenures will be extended until July 9, 2017, Lueth said. Lawmakers will vote next week on a constitutional amendment for the government to continue without elections, he said in a phone interview. South Sudan has been engulfed by conflict since December 2013, when a power struggle within the ruling party turned violent. After Kiir arrested rivals for allegedly plotting a coup and ethnic […]

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South Sudan’s Warring Factions Sign Peace Deal

ENLARGE South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir, left, exchanges documents with rebel leader Riek Machar, right, in Arusha, Tanzania, as Tanzania’s President Jakaya Kikwete looks on. Photo: Agence France-Presse/Getty Images KAMPALA Uganda—Warring factions in South Sudan have signed an agreement to reconcile the ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement party, officials said on Thursday, in the latest effort to resolve the conflict that has ravaged the oil-rich nation for more than a year. Under the deal, signed in the northern Tanzanian city of Arusha, the parties agreed to “reunify and reconcile” the three factions within the party, the Finland-based conflict-resolution group Crisis Management Initiative said in a statement. President Salva Kiir, signed the deal with his former deputy Riek Machar —now a rebel leader—and Deng Alor Kuol, the representative of former political detainees who were arrested shortly after the outbreak of the violence in December 2013. The deal outlines the road […]

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South Sudan Signs Agreement With China’s CNPC to Boost Oil Production

ENLARGE Internally displaced South Sudanese receive cooking oil and food aid from the World Food Program in Bor, Jonglei state, on Dec. 10. The war-ravaged nation on Monday signed an agreement with China National Petroleum Co. in a bid to bolster oil production in the country. Reuters KAMPALA Uganda—South Sudan has signed an agreement with China National Petroleum Co., or CNPC, to boost oil production in at least three blocks, officials said Monday as the war-ravaged nation attempts to heal its battered oil industry. CNPC said in a statement that it would use heavy oil recovery technologies in ”stabilizing and increasing crude output” in the three blocks in the oil-rich but restive nation. The deal highlights how quickly China wants to restore South Sudan’s oil production which has slumped by a third since the outbreak of the conflict late last year, posing a threat to a vital source of […]

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South Sudan Hires Ex-Blackwater Chief to Restore War-Hit Oil

The former head of U.S. security company Blackwater USA, Erik Prince, was hired by South Sudan to help repair damaged oil facilities and boost output cut by a year of civil war. Prince’s Frontier Services Group Ltd. (500) , a Hong Kong-listed logistics and transportation company, is being paid 18.7 million euros ($23.3 million) by South Sudan’s Ministry of Petroleum to transport supplies to and perform maintenance on the production facilities at the oil fields , Chief Executive Officer Gregg Smith said by phone from New York yesterday. About 30 employees including pilots, engineers and logistics technicians have been using helicopters and airplanes to reach South Sudan’s oil fields since September, Smith said. “This is not supporting the army,” Smith said. “The contract is clearly with the Ministry of Petroleum and Mining to support the oil field services and to make sure the production of oil keeps flowing.” South […]

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China reviewing oil relationships with Sudan, South Sudan, researcher says

WASHINGTON, DC, Oct. 21 10/21/2014 By Nick Snow OGJ Washington Editor The Chinese government and China National Petroleum Corp. are reviewing their relationships with Sudan and South Sudan following years of growth that changed both sides, a researcher said at Johns Hopkins University’s School for Advanced International Studies . “Sudan was a launching pad for CNPC to become a global corporation through financial and resource benefits,” said Luke Patey, a senior researcher at the Danish Institute for International Studies and author of “ The New Kings of Crude: China, Oil, and Civil War in Sudan and South Sudan .” “For much of the 2000s, CNPC took 40% of its oil from Sudan through subsidiaries as well as through the main subsidiary,” Patey said during an Oct. 20 event hosted by the SAIS China-Africa Research Initiative. “Things started to go bad for CNPC when the two Sudans signed a comprehensive […]

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South Sudan’s Nov Dar Blend crude oil exports to fall 8.6% on month: sources

Home | News & Analysis | Latest News Headlines | South Sudan’s Nov Dar Blend crude oil exports to fall 8.6% on month: sources Singapore (Platts)–20Oct2014/538 am EDT/938 GMT An estimated 4.2 million barrels or 140,000 b/d of South Sudan’s Dar Blend crude oil is expected to be exported in November, down 8.7% from 4.6 million barrels due to be exported in October, trade sources said Monday. A total of five cargoes — two of 600,000 barrels and three of 1 million barrels — are scheduled for lifting in November, the sources said. Dar Blend is a heavy, acidic crude produced at the Block 3 and Block 7 oil fields in South Sudan’s Upper Nile State. Malaysia’s Petronas, which holds a 40% interest in Dar Petroleum Operating Company, on Monday issued a tender offering 1 million barrels of Dar Blend crude for loading over November 25-26. The tender will […]

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South Sudan: Fighting Threatens Oil Fields in Upper Nile

Fighting has erupted around Renk, a key border town in Upper Nile state. South Sudan says opposition forces supported by the Sudanese government are making a push towards oil fields further south. According to a source within the government, forces loyal to former Vice President Riak Machar launched attacks on government troops near Agon-Bar, northeast of Renk on September 18. The rebel attack initially forced government troops to withdraw from the area. The South Sudanese troops then counterattacked, forcing the rebels to withdraw toward the Sudanese border. Renk sits near several oil fields in Upper Nile state, the largest of which is Palouge. The state is responsible for around 80 percent of South Sudan’s oil production. Fighting has since spread to oilfields near Palouge, according to sources in the area. A Member of Parliament, who is from the region and asked for his name not to be used, accused […]

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China Deploys Troops in South Sudan to Defend Oil Fields, Workers

United Nations peacekeepers secure a section of Juba airport in South Sudan on Aug. 12. China has deployed soldiers to South Sudan to protect Chinese workers. Agence France-Presse/Getty Images KAMPALA, Uganda—China began deploying 700 soldiers to a United Nations peacekeeping force in South Sudan to help guard the country’s embattled oil fields and protect Chinese workers and installations, a spokesman for the African nation’s president said Tuesday. The airlift of the Chinese infantry battalion to the South Sudanese states of Unity and Upper Nile, the site of the only operating oil fields still under the control of the central government in Juba, was expected to take several days, spokesman Ateny Wek Ateny said. While Beijing’s troops will operate under U.N. command, their posting to South Sudan marks a sharp escalation of China’s efforts to ensure the safety of its workers and assets in Africa and guarantee a steady flow […]

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Sudan and South Sudan

Map of key oil infrastructure in Sudan and South Sudan Since its independence in 1956 from joint British and Egyptian rule, Sudan has experienced several armed conflicts that have affected the country’s economic development, particularly its natural resources. The longest conflicts in the unified Sudan were the two civil wars fought between the Northern Sudanese government in Sudan (1955-1972) and the government in Southern Sudan (1983-2005). The second civil war ended with the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) that was in place from 2005 to 2011.The CPA set standards for sharing oil revenue (50:50 split) and a timetable toward a referendum on the South’s independence. A referendum took place in January 2011 in which the people of the South voted to secede from Sudan. In July 2011, Sudan became two countries: Sudan (Khartoum as the capital) and South Sudan (Juba as the capital). The border separating Sudan […]

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Exxon Ends Oil Search With Total in South Sudan as War Rages

Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM) , the U.S.’s largest oil company, ended exploration plans with Total SA (FP) in South Sudan, Total and the government said, a sign of faltering investor confidence in the African nation as a civil war enters its eighth month. Exxon in April didn’t renew an agreement with Total to negotiate for joint-exploration over parts of a 120,000 square-kilometer (46,300 square-mile) concession in Jonglei state, Total spokeswoman Anastasia Zhivulina said in an Aug. 12 e-mailed response to questions. Total is still bidding to explore in partnership with Kuwait’s state-owned Kuwait Foreign Exploration Petroleum Co. she said. Exxon spokesman Patrick McGinn said by e-mail that the company doesn’t comment on specific ventures. “Losing the American oil company’s interest is definitely a blow for the future prospects of South Sudan ’s oil industry,” Luke Patey, a researcher on the country’s industry at the Danish Institute for International Studies, […]

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