Oil and southern Sudan
Oil was discovered in Sudan in the 1970's, but it has only recently become a significant part of the country's economy. A pipeline connecting the Heglig oil fields with Port Sudan was completed and began operation in 1999, and in 2000 Sudan became an oil exporter. The oil has raised many questions, including how the profits are used, what the government of Sudan has done to secure the oil fields, what the opposition has done to disrupt oil operations, and what constitutes responsible behavior by oil companies and foreign governments. This page is devoted to information and opinions about these questions. If you would like to contribute an insight or opinion, please use any of the means described in our contact page to let SSFI know what you think.
Oil in Sudan, June 14, 2000. This is SSFI's statement that describes the problem, its consequences, and what the oil companies should do. It contains many links and references.
Talisman's profits were up 123% in 2Q03, after sale of its oil interests in Sudan.
Talisman sells its oil interests in Sudan.
God, Oil, and Country: Changing the Logic of War in Sudan, an International Crisis Group report (250 pages), written by an ICG team led by principal author John Prendergast, co-director of ICG's Africa program, and former director of Africa policy for the Clinton administration.
American Anti-Slavery sues Talisman, accusing it of violating international law by associating with a country accused of human rights abuses.
An independent fact-finding mission reports that oil companies operating in the Sudan are "knowingly or unknowingly" involved in a government counterinsurgency strategy in the country.
US businesses and the Bush administration oppose the provision of the "Sudan Peace Act" that would force American stock exchanges to de-list foreign companies (such as Canada's Talisman Energy) that do business in Sudan.
Lundin Oil's chief executive comments on the "Sudan Peace Act"
Talisman hopes to improve its image through community development and human-rights monitoring.
Oil makes Sudan (and its currency) much more independent.
Taban Deng, in his letter of resignation as Minister of Roads and Communications, accused GOS of using all of its oil revenue for the army. (GOS claims that oil revenue will be spent on development and reconstruction, especially in southern Sudan)
Talisman plans to drill three new wells in the Heglig region, 11/21/2000.
For a Malaysian journalist in Sudan, "Petronas" is a magic word.
Sinopec, China's second largest oil company, has difficulty with its IPO, in part because of protests about its activities in the Sudan, 10/26/00.
The Washington Post advises the United States to follow up its diplomatic victory over Sudan in the U.N. Security Council elections by putting pressure on countries whose oil companies are helping GOS profit from Sudan's oil, 10/15/00.
The Economist reports on oil's contribution to GOS' war effort, and Talisman's efforts to implement the International Code of Ethics for Canadian Business.
Sudan's Roman Catholic bishops condemn GOS' bombing of civilian targets in the south, and call on multinational companies to stop their oil production activity.
Sudan is already self-sufficient in oil production.
Sudan expects to become self-sufficient in weapons production, thanks to oil profits.
Sudan's Chinese-built oil refinery is now operating.
ECOS, the European Coalition on Oil in Sudan
CSIS, the Center for Strategic and International Studies. The link takes you to their Africa page. Scroll down to the section titled "Sudan Peace Talks - Machakos, Kenya" for several presentation on Sudan's oil situation. The CSIS Africa program prepared them at the request of IGAD, John Danforth, and the US State Department, for presentation in Machakos, Kenya, in August of 2002.
The report by Canadian envoy John Harker was released on 2/14/2000. Canadian Foreign Minister Lloyd Axworthy sent Harker to Sudan in 1999 to investigate the effects of Talisman Energy's involvement in the Heglig oil field development on the war in Sudan. Talisman owns a 25% share of the venture, and could earn US$ 200 million from it this year. The Government of Sudan has been accused of attacks on civilians in the area, presumably to reduce the chance of rebel assaults on the production facilities and the pipeline that connects them to Port Sudan on the Red Sea. The government has also been accused of using oil profits to fund its civil war effort, and even of using an airstrip built by Talisman for its raids against the people of the area. Axworthy has threatened to impose sanctions on Talisman, pending the contents of Harker's report. The Chinese and Malaysian national oil companies are currently the other players in the Heglig fields. In the end, the Canadian government placed no sanctions on Talisman
Statement from the Sudan Inter-Agency Reference Group (Canada): NGOs express concern over delays in release of the Harker report