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Venezuela Eyes Investment In Sudan’s Ailing Oil & Gas Sector

Venezuelan and Sudanese government officials are discussing possible investments in the oil and gas industry of Sudan.

Both countries are experiencing serious economic woes, Venezuela reeling from the severe blow from low oil prices and mismanagement of the state oil company that plunged it into a recession, and Sudan trying to recover from the loss of 75 percent of its crude oil revenues after South Sudan seceded.

Currently, Sudan produces approximately 100,000 barrels of oil daily, with its remaining reserves estimated at 3.5 billion barrels.

For the African country, which split into two in 2011, all foreign investments are welcome, and Venezuela will be invited to bid in international oil and gas tenders scheduled for later this year.

Earlier this year, foreign investment prospects for Sudan improved significantly, when the U.S. lifted a 20-year economic embargo against it, ready to work with the current Sudanese government, which made progress in improving regional security.

For Venezuela, trade deals with Sudan might help it to prop up its collapsing economy, although that’s questionable. The country is struggling with shortages of food, medicines and other basics, and now it has been hit with a $1-billion penalty from the district court for the District of Columbia.

The court earlier this week ruled in favor of Canadian miner Crystallex, which sued Venezuela for expropriating its assets there during Hugo Chavez’ government. Venezuela is facing more payouts as several other companies whose assets were nationalized during the Chavez years are suing it.

Related: Asia’s Top LNG Players Forming Buyers Club

Meanwhile, Sudan may be facing a refugee crisis, as more than 60,000 people from South Sudan have entered the country since the start of the year. According to UN calculations, this was supposed to be the total number of refugees to enter Sudan this year.

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The southern country is being torn apart by a bloody conflict between political factions, and the influx of refugees in Sudan suggests that the situation is deteriorating fast.

By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com

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