Kenyans can invest in Sudan oil exploration

Jul 24, 2001 02:00 AM

Kenyans have a chance to invest in the exploration of oil in three concessions that are still available in Sudan. Less than 20 % of the potential oil production area has been explored and the capacity has been estimated at more than 1 bn barrels.
"The infrastructure for oil in Sudan is almost complete, and those who want to invest in exploration and other downstream concerns are welcome," said Mr Awad Ahmed Al Gazz, Sudan's Energy Minister. At the same time, Khartoum said its oil was available to all interested Kenyan firms. "We have an open tender system where we state what we have and firms quote their prices," Mr Al Gazz said.
He added that Kenya was better placed to benefit than most countries in the region owing to the short distance between the marine terminal at Port Sudan and Mombasa. "It is very good value for Kenyan firms to buy crude or refined products...The only requirement is to list their names so that when the time comes, they can be allotted a share if they make good offers," he said.

Oil production in Sudan started after four companies, China National Petroleum Company, Petronas from Malaysia, Talisman from Canada and Sudan's Sudapet formed a consortium and signed an agreement of exploration, which set off the construction of a pipeline in 1998.
In August 1999, the 1,610 km-long pipeline, from the oilfields in the south west of the country to the marine terminal on the Red Sea, was completed. Connected to the pipeline is a refinery 80 km north of Khartoum with a capacity of 50,000 bpd, a joint venture between Sudan and China.
Sudan has five other refineries. Four of them are operating, while the fifth at Port Sudan is being upgraded to process crude for export. Some 285 wells have been sunk in 11 of the 18 blocks spread around the country. Production in the Unity, Heglig, Adar, Kaikang and Abu Gabra blocks started at 150,000 bpd in August 1999 and now stands at 220,000 bpd.
Total production is projected to hit 600,000 bpd in three years' time. Production in major concessions given to Chinese and Malaysian companies is expected to start next year. Other concessions taken by companies from the United Arab Emirates, Gulf Petroleum and Qatar are being broadened and are expected to go into production in the next two years.

Sudan has started a petrochemicals industry, with the first factory being constructed next to the Khartoum refinery -- with Chinese help -- expected to go into production by mid next year. With the coming on-stream of jet fuel in April, Sudan is now self sufficient in a full range of petroleum products. Some 65,000 barrels are consumed in that country everyday, with the surplus exported to Japan, China, Malaysia, Korea, Europe and South America. Sudan has also started exporting to African countries, including Ethiopia.

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