Khartoum — The Sudanese Minister of Petroleum and Gas, Mohamed Zayed Awad, said that Sudan managed to indigenize the oil industry due to the mutually beneficial cooperation with China.
Both countries developed a working model which can be followed during their 20 years of cooperation in the oil industry based on mutual respect and benefit, Awad told Xinhua in an exclusive interview.
He reiterated Sudan’s ability to run oil operations with Sudanese calibers as is the case in Sudan’s Star Oil Company, for example, due to cooperation with China.
He added that Sudan managed to build its oil facilities and acquire the knowhow to run the oil industry from ecological surveys, production, oil processing, transport to pipelines, export and refining via its cooperation with China, which Sudan is grateful for. “We thank China for this important assistance,” Awad said.
The Sudanese minister attributed the success of the Sino-Sudanese economic cooperation to the well-established political relationship between them, as their economic cooperation relations were based on deeply-rooted political ties where confidence and good will ruled.
Sudan and China launched their cooperation in the oil field 20 years ago, providing a south-south relations model. In 1995 China became Sudan’s oil partner, signing their primary agreement in 1996, with explorations starting in 1997, and export soon followed two years later. “This was a miracle,” he commented.
He reiterated the two sides’ willingness to deepen their cooperation in the oil field through the political will expressed by both parties when both the Chinese and Sudanese presidents signed the strategic partnership agreement during the latter’s recent visit to Beijing.
President Omar al-Bashir’s recent visit to Beijing laid new grounds for bilateral relations following the signing of the agreement. Currently discussions are underway regarding furthering cooperation in the oil field, increasing production and launching new projects, he explained.
The Sudanese minister stressed the importance of China’s entry into the field of gas production in Sudan as China is interested in investing in the gas field, where Sudan has significant gas zones in both the Sinnar area in central Sudan and the Heglig area in western Sudan.
An agreement has been signed with China to share gas production and begin work immediately, he said.
Sudan began producing natural gas in 2009 from the Tawakul well in the Sinnar State within Block No (8) generating 3.7 million cubic feet of condensate gas a day, with total gas reserves at the block estimated at 25 billion cubic feet.
China is considered Sudan’s largest foreign investor with the most substantial investments both in Sudan as well as Africa.