South Sudan has announced that it has exported 22 million barrels of oil in the first three months of independence.
However, the government notes that it has been impossible to actually quantify the proceeds of sales due to the lack of an agreement with Sudan on the use of its pipelines toward the Red Sea.
According to the Oil Ministry in Juba, the 22 million barrels sold to companies in Europe and Asia between July 9th and the beginning of October should earn some USD 2.14 billion. This amount, nevertheless, does not take into account charges that Khartoum announced it would impose for the use of its pipelines linking the oil sources in South Sudan to the terminal in Port Sudan, which remains the only way to export crude oil, seeing as the new state of South Sudan is landlocked.
The management of oil resources is one of the unsolved problems in relations between South Sudan and Sudan. On the basis of the peace accords that ended the civil war in 2005, oil revenues should have been divided equally between Khartoum and the semi-autonomous government in Juba.
The independent South, which now controls about three-quarters of Sudanese oil, has opened up a difficult negotiation.
Khartoum is demanding USD 32 for each barrel exported, while Juba claims that it is willing to pay no more than USD 0.41 per barrel, a rate which it claims to be in line with “international standards”.