South Sudan shuts down oil production in pipeline impasse

South Sudan, at an impasse in talks with Khartoum over terms for use of the pipeline linking the two countries, has ordered oil companies to shut down oil production within two weeks. Landlocked South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir accuses Sudan of having stolen $815 million worth of the south’s oil. Sudan’s President Omar Hassan al-Bashir can no longer tolerate South Sudan exporting its oil for free while the two governments are at odds. Sudan has publicly proposed $36 per barrel, while South Sudan has listed figures under $1 per barrel. Efforts to mediate by Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, current chair of the African Union, have been fruitless. When South Sudan seceded last year, it took with it about 75% of Khartoum’s 500,000 barrels per day of oil production. The shutdown could lead to a tightening of the world’s oil supply and cause prices to rise. (Sudan Tribune via AllAfrica, Jan. 27; AP, Jan. 23)

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