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Sudan denies blocking South Sudan's oil exports through its territories

(Xinhua)

15:01, December 01, 2011

KHARTOUM, Nov. 30 (Xinhua) -- The Sudanese government Wednesday denied the decision to block South Sudan's oil exports through Sudan's territories, contrary to what had been announced by Sudan' s Minister of Petroleum.

"The Sudanese government has not halted and will not halt the oil exportation of South Sudan through its facilities," Sabir Mohamed al-Hassan, Sudan's chief negotiator on oil issues, told reporters at the Khartoum airport as he returned from the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa where he held talks with South Sudan.

Hassan explained that the Sudanese government has started to take oil from South Sudan as payment for using Sudan's facilities, adding that Sudan will continue to collect its dues in form of material oil until an agreement is reached.

The Sudanese Minister of Petroleum said Monday that Sudan had decided to halt exportation of South Sudan's oil through Sudan's territories until an agreement is reached on the fees and South Sudan pays its arrears amounting to 727 million U.S. dollars.

The announcement prompted tension between the two countries regarding sharing the revenues of the oil, which is produced in South Sudan and exported through Sudan's pipelines and harbors.

South Sudan regarded Khartoum's move as "irresponsible and abusive," affirming that it would not make any reaction until the results of the talks in Addis Ababa come out.

South Sudan was officially declared independent on July 9 this year. Consequently, Sudan lost around 75 percent of its oil share which was about 500,000 barrels a day.

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