Sudan has signed oil exploration and production-sharing deals with foreign companies on nine blocks, a senior oil official said, sealing investments of $1 billion in Sudan, which is struggling to deal with a big loss in oil revenues.
State Oil Minister Ishaq Adam Gamaa said on Thursday Canadian firm Statesman Resources Ltd as well as Chinese, Nigerian, Australian, Brazilian and French companies had signed the agreements. State-owned oi l and gas firm Sudapet was included in the deals.
Seven blocks were awarded for the first time, while some companies joined previously awarded contracts for two other blocks, Gamaa said. Some of the blocks are near the northern border with Egypt, some are offshore and others are near Kassala in eastern Sudan and in Khartoum state.
"The initial investment needed for these blocks is $1 billion. It will not be cash given to Sudan, but money that will be invested by those companies," Gamaa told Reuters.
Gamaa said there would be no production at the new blocks for several years while companies carry out magnetic surveys, seismic data and drilling of exploratory wells.
"We cannot say when well produce. There are several activities that need to be done towards production. They will take several years," he said.
Gamaa said the governments share of oil would depend on data from each block. "The government priority will be to meet domestic demand and export the surplus," he said.
Gamaa said Sudan was currently producing 115,000 barrels per day