Southern Sudan hopes to pump oil in three years

Costello Garang, foreign commissioner for the Sudanese People’s Liberation Movement, says the soon-to-be-formed civil administration of South Sudan has signed a joint-venture contract with London’s White Nile, and is in talks with several other companies over oil contracts. “In three years time, we hope to be producing oil,” Garang said.

White Nile will tender out seismic survey work soon, said Andrew Groves, one of its main investors. The company, which is establishing an office in Rumbek, has already carried out an aerial survey of the block. White Nile will also start planning a $1.4-billion, 1,400-km pipeline linking the Block BA oilfield area to the Indian Ocean north of Mombasa, once seismic studies and exploration provide assessments of the South’s oil for export, Garang said. For now, all export pipelines run through the north to the Red Sea.

White Nile, founded by former English cricketer Phil Edmonds and mining investor Andrew Groves, along with other financial backers, is the only firm with rights to explore in Block BA, a 67,000-sqkm area within Block B, an area the size of Greece. A consortium of Total, Marathon, and Kuwait Petroleum also claim all of the block.

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