South Sudan Oil Could Bypass North

Posted July 6th, 2011 at 1:05 pm (UTC-5)
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South Sudan is talking about building new pipelines to pump oil through Kenya instead of going north through Khartoum.

South Sudan Road and Transport Minister Anthony Lino Makana told reporters Wednesday that building a new pipeline “is not a hard thing for us.”

He said several oil companies have already approached South Sudan about the potential project, though he did not share any names.

Negotiators from both sides have failed to reach a final agreement on how to handle the issue of oil revenue once the south declares its independence Saturday.

The south had agreed to pay the north for the use of its pipelines and other facilities, though how much it would pay remains a contentious issue.

About 75 percent of all the oil reserves in Sudan will be controlled by the south, making South Sudan one of the most oil-rich nations in Africa.

North and south Sudan fought a 21-year civil war that ended with a 2005 peace deal. South Sudan voted to split from the north in a referendum in January.