South Sudan official: Sudan oil pipeline restart imminent

According to a South Sudan oil ministry official, a Sudan oil pipeline that ruptured during February’s conflict has been repaired and is poised to resume operations within the next two weeks.

The Petrodar pipeline, constructed by a consortium including China’s CNPC, Sinopec, and Malaysia’s Petronas, typically transports around 100,000 barrels per day (bpd) of South Sudan’s crude over 1,500 km (932 miles) to a terminal on Sudan’s Red Sea coast.

Sudanese sources aligned with the army attributed the stoppage to their rival Rapid Support Forces (RSF), claiming that the damaged pump station was situated in RSF-controlled territory.

However, the RSF denied these allegations.

South Sudan’s Dar Blend crude, known for its low sulfur content, requires heating to prevent solidification in the pipeline.

“The rupture has been restored, has been repaired, but now it has caused some gelling along the pipeline,” stated William Anyak Deng, an undersecretary in South Sudan’s oil ministry.

Oil constitutes a critical revenue source for South Sudan’s government, accounting for 90% of its foreign exchange earnings, with Sudan receiving a portion of the oil as a transit fee.

The Petrodar pipeline, one of two in Sudan, handles approximately two-thirds of South Sudan’s total oil exports.

Observers have cautioned that South Sudan could face economic collapse and political instability unless a major source of its petrodollars is reinstated.

Despite the 13-month conflict in Sudan posing challenges to pipeline repairs, oil exports are expected to resume once the wax blockages are cleared using methods such as hot water or diesel, Deng informed reporters.

“China will continue to provide its support and cooperation together with the partners to try to solve the problems and tackle the challenges,” affirmed Ma Qiang, China’s ambassador to South Sudan.

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