Southern Sudan May Build Oil Pipeline to Kenya
Southern Sudan is considering building a pipeline to East Africa to connect its oil supply to the region independent of Khartoum-run pipelines, the Associated Press reports. The move is one that could further deteriorate relations between northern and southern regions as Southern Sudan prepares to split from the north.
Southern Sudan’s declaration of independence is expected to come Saturday, but several key provisions of its removal from the north have not yet been settled, the AP said. Oil rights and wealth sharing are still up in the air, and northern President Omar al-Bashir has threatened to block the south’s access to pipelines unless a favorable wealth-sharing agreement was met.
A Southern Sudan pipeline would negate the need for such a compromise, however.
Roads and Transport Minister Anthony Lino Makana announced that the south was taking meetings with gasoline companies interested in building the pipeline, which would connect the south’s oil to ports in East Africa. Specifically, Kenya’s oil infrastructure would allow the newly created country to use Kenyan pipelines to export its oil.
“To put a pipeline in is very easy for us,” Makana told reporters. “We don’t need to export very far.”
He added that the new pipelines would only cost the country “a few million dollars.”
Investing in oil is important for Southern Sudan, as it is virtually the only moneymaker for the government, according to the AP. It is currently the third largest oil producer in the region, exporting about 490,000 barrels a day.
The south accounts for more than three-quarters of Sudan’s oil output.