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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Sudan Oil Exports to Increase 78% by Selling to Asian Companies

By Maher Chmaytelli
March 15 (Bloomberg)

-- Sudan’s oil production will increase by 28 percent this year, unaffected by the conflict with the International Criminal Court about war crimes in the Darfur region, Oil Minister Al-Zubair Ahmed Al-Hassan said.

To lift production, Sudan is relying on Asian companies like Malaysia’s Petroliam Nasional Bhd. and China National Petroleum Corp that are less prone to be swayed by international pressure than Western companies, Al-Hassan said in an interview with Bloomberg in Vienna. “We depend on Asian companies, not Western companies,” he said.

On March 4, the International Criminal Court issued a warrant for the arrest of Sudanese President Umar al-Bashir on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity in Darfur. Bashir rejected the court’s indictment.

Sudan’s crude oil production will increase to 600,000 barrels a day by the end of the year, from 470,000 barrels a day now, Al-Zubair said, speaking on the sideline of a meeting of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, in which the eastern African nation is an observer.

Sudan will proceed with plans to seek bids this year from foreign oil companies to explore three areas, he said.

The Rest @ Bloomberg

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