Sudan Craves For More Exploration Investments From Foreign Oil Firms

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Chibisi Ohakah

Sudan has urged international energy companies to speed up efforts to find and develop deposits in the country.

The country is perceived as struggling to recover from U.S. sanctions and a plunge in petroleum revenue.

Bloomberg reported yesterday that officials of Houston-based global oil service company, Schlumberger, reportedly met with Sudan’s newly appointed oil and minister, Adel Ali Ibrahim and expressed the readiness to resume working in the African nation.

Ibrahim said he’s seeking the “return of the oil and gas sector to its leading role by developing the fields and solving the issues that caused the drop in production,” Bloomberg quoted a statement from the country’s oil and ministry.

Sudan’s output plummeted after seceded in 2011, taking most of the country’s crude deposits with it. Although the U.S. in 2017 lifted crippling sanctions it had imposed on Su dan two decades earlier, the economy remains starved of fresh investment. Banks are short of cash, and inflation soared to 53% in August, according to the Sudan Central Bureau of Statistics.

The African country pumped 100,000 barrels a day of crude last year, a fraction of what it produced before became independent, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Ibrahim, in the meeting with officials discussed investment opportunities in the Red Sea and central Sudan as well as at existing fields, the ministry said.

The minister was appointed in the first cabinet installed since the ouster in April of long-term leader Omar al-Bashir. The country’s President faced months of protests against the government’s economic mismanagement, repression and corruption before the military ended his 30-year rule.

Under him, Sudan had failed to keep peace internally, losing its largest and 60% of its fiscal with ’s secession. The U.S. had imposed sanctions in 1997 for human rights violations and concerns over terrorism, then intensified curbs in 2006 for what it said was Khartoum’s complicity in violence in the Darfur region.

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