South Sudan plans to build a link to a pipeline in Kenya to export its oil after breaking away from the north, a minister said on Wednesday.
The south will control 75 percent of the African country’s 500,000 barrels a day production when it becomes independent on Saturday.
So far, the underdeveloped south will have to rely on northern facilities such as its refineries and the only port to sell the oil, the lifeblood of north and south.
The announcement will cause concern in Khartoum which was counting on the south at least paying it fees to transport southern oil through northern pipelines — to cushion the blow of losing the southern oil revenues.
Anthony Makana, minister of roads and transport, said the south was in talks with several oil firms to build a 200 kilometre long link to the existing South-Eldoret-Mombasa pipeline in Kenya.
“To build a pipeline is a very easy thing for us,” he told reporters in the southern capital Juba, putting the cost at a “few million dollars.”
He said such a pipeline would help the south to export its oil to African neighbours such as Kenya, Uganda, Congo, Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania and Ethiopia.
Makana also said some oil fields contained more gas than oil, making it “economically viable to extract gas and then oil from some fields.” He gave no further details, including how long such a project might take.
The government has said in the past it was interested in finding new routes for its oil but so far failed to give concrete details. (Reporting by Jeremy Clarke in Juba, writing by Ulf Laessing, editing by Keiron Henderson)