JUBA - The Minister of Petroleum and Mining, Stephen Dhieu Dau yesterday accused the Khartoum government of ships blockage and stealing of the crude of South Sudan by directing foreign oil companies to divert the crude oil entitlement for December to Khartoum and El Obied refineries.
The minister stated this to the journalists at the weekly press briefing in Juba.
Dhieu in strong words condemned the decision taken by Sudan government without informing the operators and the government of South Sudan and said that this action would create more problem to Sudan than resolving their financial crisis.
The minister said that Sudan is currently preventing two ships from leaving Port Sudan carrying 1.6 million barrels of Dar blend from South Sudan and preventing one additional vessel to load 0.6 barrel of south Dar blend.
Dau further said Khartoum also blocked two ships from entering Port Sudan to take possession of 1.2 million barrels of Nile blend purchase from South Sudan.
He however revealed to the journalists that his ministry is due to sign an agreement this month with the operating companies that will visit the country soon.
Dau, further said that Khartoum has ordered 550,000 barrels of South Sudan oil’s Dar blend’s crude oil entitlement for last December and diverted to it buyers.
He also accused Sudan of constructing a new tie in pipeline between the Petrodar pipeline and Khartoum refineries designed to permanently divert 13 percent of the Dar blend of South Sudan.
The Minister said the new pipeline under construction by Khartoum is expected to complete before fifteenth of this month.
He added that his ministry had invited China to take part in the talks with them and that South Sudan will not allow its resources to be interfered with by Khartoum and threatened legal action if the blockade continues.
The Minister warned that the South Sudan government will, if necessary take legal actions against anyone who purchases Sudan’s crude stolen from the South.
“Any diversion of oil is nothing less than theft and preventing loaded ships with South Sudan crude oil from leaving port is unlawful act and a violation of international laws and norms,” said Dau.
Dau said that one ship carrying 1 million barrels of southern oil was blocked from leaving Port Sudan on Dec. 31, while a second carrying 600,000 barrels was stopped this January.
“They want to steal, to loot the resources of South Sudan,” reiterated the minister.
After South independence from Sudan it gained control of nearly three quarters of the formerly unified country’s oil fields, which produce around 500,000 barrels per day.
South Sudan unveiled that last week Khartoum rejected 2.6 billion dollars offered by it for free in return for friendship and cooperation but Sudan continues to steal its oil.
But petroleum minister said in the recent talk through African Union, South Sudan proposed to pay Sudan 74 cent per barrel, offer rejected by Khartoum and opted to maintain to charge South Sudan with 36 dollars per barrel something rejected too by the world’s newest nation describing it robbery which had never happened elsewhere in the world.