Politics, Geopolitics & Conflict
South Sudanese rebels claim to have captured a key refinery for the country’s largest oilfield (Paloch) in the Upper Nile State. The rebel MO here is to target oil facilities in order to deprive the government of oil revenues—upon which the budget is entirely dependent and which represents its only way of financing the fight against the rebels in this civil war. The two-year civil war pits forces loyal to South Sudan President Salva Kiir against ‘rebels’ allied with Kiir’s former deputy, Riek Machar. South Sudan only achieved independence from Sudan in 2011. While fighting has been ongoing for two years, there has been a recent escalation that follows a clear strategy by rebels to increase targeting of oil infrastructure. The rebels have advised oil companies to evacuate staff and halt operations in advance of the onslaught. Oil companies with operations in South Sudan include Malaysia's Petronas, China's CNPC and India's ONGC Videsh.
Not-related to the ongoing civil war, we alert oil and gas companies to a scam to park money purported to belong to rebel leader Machar in European oil and gas companies. An individual posing as an investment lawyer working on behalf of Machar is offering oil and gas companies tens of millions in investment. Given the desperate situation of a number of junior oil and gas companies operating in Europe, this is an attractive offer, but we assure you…