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State Oil Company Canada Ltd. has returned to Sudan and will resume exploration in the Al-Rawat field, Sudanese media reported, quoting the country’s Minister of Petroleum Abdel-Rahman Osman.
The Canadian company was originally part of a four-way partnership with local state energy firm Sudapet and two Nigerian oil and gas producers, but it pulled out amid the oil price crash, leaving 70 percent of the field in the hands of Sudapet, with the Nigerian players sharing the remainder.
Now, under a new memorandum of understanding, State Oil Company Canada Ltd. will have the option of taking over half of Sudapet’s stake in Al-Rawat, as the country strives to boost its crude oil production to 200,000 bpd from the current rate of between 80,000 and 133,000 bpd, according to different estimates.
Sudan lost most of its oil wealth with the secession of South Sudan in 2011, after a long and bloody civil war that led to the imposition of economic sanctions on Khartoum by the United States some 20 years ago. These were lifted earlier this month, spurring activity in the oil sector. Israel and Saudi Arabia have been lobbying hard to relieve Sudan from the sanctions in a bid to distance Khartoum from mutual rival Iran.
Sudan is currently preparing an exploration tender covering 15 oil and gas blocks holding potential resources of 70 billion barrels. The tender is also part of efforts to increase total oil production, eventually to as much as 500,000 bpd, said Sudan’s oil minister Saadeldin Abdelmagid in an interview for S&P Platts.
Earlier this year, in anticipation of the lifting of sanctions, Sudan and South Sudan signed a deal to open direct trade along the border and increase production in the oil fields in South Sudan that are currently not functioning because of the still unstable internal political situation. The deal will serve as an economic lifeline to both countries.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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Irina is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.