South Sudan Oil Exports Disrupted by Pipeline Stoppages in Sudan Due to Political Unrest

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South Sudan Oil Exports Disrupted by Pipeline Stoppages in Sudan Due to Political Unrest

South Sudan on the map (© Shutterstock/hyotographics)
South Sudan on the map (© Shutterstock/hyotographics)

Crude oil exports from South Sudan have been disrupted due to the ongoing political unrest in the Republic of the Sudan, always known as the Sudan. 

As reported by Reuters on Monday, March, 25, the main pipeline transporting South Sudanese crude oil for export through Sudan has faced stoppages since February due to issues linked to the ongoing conflict between Sudan's army and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF).

A March 16 letter from Sudan's petroleum ministry, obtained by Reuters, declared force majeure on oil deliveries through the pipeline to a terminal near Port Sudan. The letter cited gelling that restricted flow in early February, followed by a major rupture at another point along the pipeline.

Both incidents occurred in areas affected by fighting, the letter stated, with communication further hampered by recent network outages across Sudan. The exact amount of oil impacted and the resulting revenue losses remain unclear.

Under an agreement established following South Sudan's independence in 2011, Juba previously sent around 150,000 barrels of oil per day through Sudan for export. This arrangement provided a vital revenue stream for South Sudan while also generating transit fees for Sudan.

Unnamed Sudanese sources aligned with the army blamed the RSF for the stoppages, claiming they occurred in RSF-controlled territory. However, an RSF media official denied responsibility, stating adherence to the oil export agreement between Sudan and South Sudan.

The petroleum ministry's letter noted that resolving the gelling issues required fully operational pumping and heating stations with sufficient diesel supplies, factors "challenged by the current war conditions in Sudan."

The affected pipeline, known as Petrodar, stretches over 1,500 kilometers (932 miles) from South Sudan's Melut Basin to Port Sudan. It's operated by a consortium involving China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), Sinopec, and Malaysia's Petronas. Another pipeline exists for transporting oil from South Sudan's Unity State to Port Sudan.

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