South Sudan crude oil held up due to protests in Eastern Sudan

The Heglig oil facility in South Sudan. The country has announced a tender to audit its oilfields. PHOTO | AFP
Photo taken on March 21, 2017 shows the Adar Oilfield in South Sudan. (Xinhua/Gale Julius)

The South Sudan government said Friday that protests in Eastern Sudan have affected the flow of oil to Port Sudan, thus disrupting production in oil fields.

Minister of Information and Communication Michael Makuei Lueth, said the protests that broke last week leading to the closure of oil terminals at Port Sudan have disrupted transportation of crude to international markets.

“With the closer of Port Sudan, we are not in a position to export our oil, so that is another issue, which shall affect us because if we don’t export oil then we will be in crises,” Lueth told reporters after the Council of Ministers regular meeting chaired by President Salva Kiir.

He said the government is concerned because the crises in Port Sudan have led to the closing of the Port and affected the flow of oil from South Sudan to Port Sudan where it is transferred to the international market.

Lueth said the Cabinet requested Kiir to make all necessary contacts so that the oil continues to flow.

He revealed they are using only Port Sudan for oil flow and export to international markets.

South Sudan relies on neighboring Sudan’s infrastructure to transport its crude for export.

“The government of Sudan declared the situation in Port Sudan as a force majeure, and efforts are underway to have this issue resolved so that our oil can flow,” said Lueth. “What is happening in port Sudan is a Sudanese issue, it has nothing to do with south Sudan, we only came in because we are beneficiaries who are using the port for exporting of our oil but the Sudanese people have their own problems and the people of Eastern Sudan decided to closed the port and all the roads, these are all their problems, we just came in because our oil is block and the tanks are in port Sudan, are standing not shifted to the market, so the oil has to stop because there is nowhere to put in.”

Sudanese protestors said to be aggrieved about being left out of the peace deal signed in October 2020 in Juba, have blocked the main road connecting to Port Sudan affecting operations at the port.

The Sudanese transitional council on Tuesday foiled an attempted coup allegedly by supporters of former long-time ruler Omar Al-Bashir in what it said was meant to derail the ongoing transition period following the latter’s ouster in 2019.