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South Sudan to build new pipeline

(Xinhua)

13:45, January 22, 2012

KHARTOUM - South Sudan announced Saturday that it has started to take steps to build a new pipeline through eastern Africa to export its oil, adding that the project is expected to be completed within 10 months.

"We had to look for alternative route for exporting the oil after we have reached a deadlock with Sudan, which is exaggerating in the oil transit fees," Barnaba Benjamin, South Sudan's information minister and government spokesman, told Xinhua.

"We have started practical steps to rapidly construct a pipeline through eastern Africa, namely via Kenya and Uganda. We expect the pipeline to be completed in 10 months. We will also begin immediately the construction of a refinery in South Sudan," he added.

Benjamin further disclosed that the international oil companies operating and producing oil in South Sudan are the ones that would construct the pipeline and the refinery, noting that "we do not have any problem with the companies currently operating in the south."

South Sudan government on Friday decided to stop the production of oil due to differences with Sudan over the exportation of South Sudan's oil through the Sudanese harbors.

Sudan and South Sudan are negotiating in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa, under the mediation of the African Union, to reach an agreement over the oil issue.

South Sudan government says Sudan has embarked on shipping amounts of South Sudan's oil and selling them for its own benefits, while Sudan says it is deducting the transit fees in form of material oil.

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