Khartoum - South Sudan Petroleum Minister Ezekiel Lol Gatkouth Sunday arrived in Khartoum for talks with his Sudanese counterpart on the oil transit fees, as result of the
collapse of oil prices.
In August 2013, South Sudan agreed to pay to Khartoum $9.10 for the oil produced in Upper Nile state and $11 for that of Unity region. Also Juba agreed to pay the Transitional Financial Assistance (TFA) to the average of the agreed oil transportation fees.
Despite the rise in oil prices recently to over $54 for the barrel, they remain far from the over 100 dollar per barrel when the two countries signed the oil deal in 2013.
Sudanese Petroleum Minister Mohamed Zayed Awad held a meeting with the visiting minister where they discussed the renewal of the oil agreement which will expire by the end of the year.
The visit comes after a meeting of joint technical committees chaired by the undersecretaries of oil ministries in the two countries on the review of oil fees to cope with the falling oil prices.
Minister Awad said his ministry is willing to provide Juba with all the data related to oil blocks in South Sudan. Also, he reiterated readiness to train South Sudanese oil workers.
Gatkouth called to strengthen joint cooperation as they plan to resume oil production in the Unity region outside Bentiu. He added that such cooperation will benefit the two countries.
The meetings were crowned by the renewal of the oil agreement and joint cooperation.
Petroleum Minister signed on behalf of Sudan while South Sudanese Petroleum Minister Ezekiel Lol Gatkouth signed on behalf of Juba.
Following the signature, Petroleum Minister Dr. Mohamed Zayed Awad said that the agreement is considered one of the agreements that organize the relations with S. Sudan in terms of oil transit fees, affirming that the renewal came as a result of the Presidency’s directives to review the financial arrangements to consider the international Decline in oil prices.
He added that the agreements signed included MoU on resumption of production in the stopped oil blocks, pointing out to the logistic and technical support which Oil Ministry will provide after the ensuring the security arrangements in such work.
He disclosed that the MoU included technical training and research by Khartoum Petroleum Training Centre.
For his part South Sudan Petroleum Minister Ezekiel Lol Gatkouth affirmed that the agreements are in favour of the two nations, expressing the desire of S. Sudan to resume the operation of Block (4-1) besides benefiting from Sudan expertise in oil industry.