South Sudan Revive Oil Pipeline Discussions.


Barnaba Chol Bak, the Finance Minister of South Sudan has stated that the country is in discussions to revive plans to truck and construct oil pipelines across Kenya, Djibouti, Ethiopia, and Sudan.

“We are not only working hard to move away from relying on oil revenues but we are also working with our partners and countries in the region to help with transportation of oil using trucks and to build oil pipelines to Djibouti port through Ethiopia and also port Mombasa, Kenya,” he said.

The Finance Minister noted that “in the long run, we will explore possibilities to use ports of other countries through which we could export our oil to the international markets. This is to avoid relying on one export route.”

He further disclosed that the conflict in Sudan had prompted the leadership of the country to explore available opportunities to use in the event of the conflict taking a long to stop. 

Chol Bak explained that “His Excellency the president was recently in Kenya and before that, he was in Ethiopia where he had bilateral discussions with leaders from Ethiopia and Kenya. A memorandum of understanding has been signed and we are now working closely with our partners.”

Bak stated that South Sudan would prefer to use a road connecting the region’s oil-producing districts to Pagak and Malakal in the Upper Nile state.

“If the conflict in Sudan drags on and it becomes a security issue to the export of the oil, we will use trucks to take the oil from Upper Nile states to Djibouti port through Ethiopia. There is a road from Pagak. We are working on that road.  We are also working on the storage capacity of our refinery in Bentiu. We have already started working on how to manage non-oil revenue and diversify our economy”, he explained.

South Sudan, which is a landlocked country, continues to export its crude oil through Port Sudan to markets worldwide.

The fledgling country had originally intended to build a different oil pipeline, but at the moment, Sudan is the only place where oil is transported to markets.

If the opposing factions in Sudan cannot come to a peaceful agreement to end the conflict, analysts worry that the current scenario there could impact the supply of oil to the worldwide markets.

Juba signed a letter of understanding with Ethiopia and Djibouti last week that might lead to the construction of an oil pipeline. According to Bak, “As a landlocked country, we would like to have an outlet to the sea for our goods to go to the outside world and for our imports to come in, noting that they need to explore other ways.”

Prior reports suggested that a division of the Toyota corporation had begun a feasibility study into a pipeline via Kenya, while some analysts claim the pipeline is not financially feasible without the discovery of additional petroleum reserves.

The current state of affairs in Sudan appears to have compelled Juba to mobilize resources to build other routes despite the fact that no progress has been made, in order to avoid relying on a single gateway to foreign markets.

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