South Sudan Signs New Oil Deals

Posted January 13th, 2012 at 1:20 pm (UTC-5)
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Newly independent South Sudan has signed new agreements with foreign oil companies to replace deals made by the previously unified Sudan.

South Sudan’s oil minister has confirmed to VOA that representatives of the Chinese, Malaysian and Indian national oil companies signed deals in the southern capital of Juba Friday.

The agreements give the companies exploration and production rights to oil fields in the country.

South Sudan took over nearly three-quarters of the former unified Sudan’s oil production when it split from the north in July.

However, the north controls the pipelines the landlocked south uses to get its oil to a port on the Red Sea. The two countries are currently locked in a bitter dispute over how much the south should pay for use of those pipelines.

This week, the south accused Khartoum of blocking the export of 3.4 million barrels of oil, mainly by preventing tankers to load or depart with southern crude oil.

The two Sudans are also at odds over borders and have traded accusations of supporting rebels on each others territory.

The tension has raised fears of war in the region. The north and south fought a 21-year civil war when Sudan was a unified country.