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Wed Jul 4, 2012 3:24PM
Oil pipeline facility leaks oil in Heglig (file photo)

Oil pipeline facility leaks oil in Heglig (file photo)

Sudan has signed exploration deals with several foreign oil companies despite unresolved disputes with south Sudan over pipeline fees. On Tuesday, Sudan signed agreements with companies from Australia, Brazil, Canada, Egypt, France-Belgium and Nigeria for oil exploration and production. Azhari Abdalla, director general of the government's Oil Exploration and Production Authority said the contracts apply to five of the country's six oil blocks. Sudan lost billions of dollars of its oil revenues after South Sudan declared independence last July. The landlocked South depended on the north's infrastructure to export its crude, but Khartoum and Juba have not been able to agree on how much South Sudan should pay to use the facilities. In April, fighting between the two sides escalated over oil fields in the border town of Heglig. Juba’s troops occupied Sudan’s main oil region of Heglig for 10 days. On April 20, Khartoum announced that the Sudanese army had forced South Sudanese soldiers out of the area. PG/JR/AZ
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