Sudan prepares to stop South oil flow

Sudan prepares to stop South oil flow

KHARTOUM - Agence France-Presse
Sudan prepares to stop South oil flow

Sudanese President al-Bashir ordered a stoppage of all of South Sudan’s oil exports, saying his neighbor was backing rebels in his country. REUTERS photo

Sudan prepared to stop the oil flow from South Sudan, on the orders of President Omar al-Bashir June 9, but an expert said the process could take weeks.

Bashir said on June 9 that petroleum companies working in South Sudan will be informed about “shutting down the pipeline” from Sunday, the official SUNA news agency reported.

The order came after Bashir warned the South over backing rebels, who analysts say humiliated the authorities with recent attacks.

-South Sudan’s government in Juba denies supporting insurgents in the north.

“I think if you do it properly it would take 45 days,” to stop the oil flow, said the independent expert who asked not to be further identified. “It’s not like opening and closing a water tap.” This will be the second closure of South Sudan’s oil wells and the Sudanese pipeline system in about 18 months.

Production had only resumed in early April after the two countries agreed on detailed timetables to normalize relations by implementing an oil deal and eight other security and economic pacts.

In early 2012 the South stopped its crude production after accusing Khartoum of theft in a dispute over export fees.