The Sudanese government announced today that it will reach oil production of 180,000 barrels per day, bpd, as of 2012, almost six months after the oil-rich south became an independent state.
The state minister of energy Ali Ahmed Osman told the parliament that Sudan currently produces 117,900 bpd and projected an average of 320,000 bpd between the years 2013-2016. He offered no details on where the increase would come from.
Osman said that Sudan imports additional oil at a price of $115 per barrel which he suggested poses a huge burden on the budget. The official also pointed out to government subsidies on petroleum products saying that it encourages smuggling but did not speak about any plans to remove it. He assured lawmakers that there would be no shortage in any petroleum products and disclosed that Sudan will soon start importing gas.
Although most of Sudan’s oil is produced in the south, for now it can only be exported via the north, and the two countries are locked in a fierce dispute about how much Juba should pay for the use of the north’s pipeline and export infrastructure. Khartoum has proposed at least $32 per barrel which was labeled as “daylight robbery” by Juba. The latter said afterwards that Sudan dropped this figure. So far it does not appear that the two countries are close to reaching an agreement. Oil had previously provided 90 percent of Khartoum’s hard currency earnings and the government is desperately seeking ways to bolster its ailing finances.