KHARTOUM, Dec 29 (Reuters) - Sudan has managed to boost oil
production to almost 140,000 barrels per day and plans to add
another 10,000 bpd next year, its oil minister said on Saturday
after the African country launched a new oilfield.
Sudan has been stepping up oil and gas exploration after
losing three-quarters of its former output, or 350,000 bpd, when
South Sudan seceded last year. The loss of oil revenue, the main
source of state income and the hard currency needed to fund
imports, has thrown the economy into turmoil.
"Our current production is between 136,000 and 140,000,"
Awad al-Jaz told reporters, adding that new discoveries had been
made. Sudan last put its output in October at 120,000 bpd.
Chinese-owned Petro Energy E&P recently launched production
at the Hadida oilfield in western Sudan with a daily output of
For next year, Sudan plans to reach 150,000 bpd, Jaz said.
"This is our budget (plan)," he said.
Initially Sudan had planned 180,000 bpd by the end of this
year but missed the target after fighting with South Sudan in
April damaged the key Heglig oilfield and its central processing
plant on the Sudan side of their disputed border.
In July, Sudan signed oil exploration and production-sharing
deals with Canadian company Statesman Resources Ltd as
well as with Chinese, Nigerian, Australian, Brazilian and French
Jaz said Sudan wanted to boost oil cooperation with
Brazilian firms, especially to explore for oil and gas in the
Norway is helping Sudan improve its pumping recovery rate,
but analysts are skeptical about any big output jump soon
because new fields need first to be explored. A scarcity of the
dollars is hampering efforts to bring in better equipment.
The minister also said South Sudan's oil exports could
resume once both sides reach an agreement on border security.
"There is no problem," he said, when asked whether from a
technical point of view exports could flow.
South Sudan, which has no export pipelines or access to the
sea, needs to export its oil through Sudan. It shut down its
output of 350,000 in January after failing to agree with Sudan
In September both countries agreed to resume oil exports,
but they have failed so far to set up a demilitarized zone at
the disputed border, a condition for crude flows.
(editing by Jane Baird)