South Sudan has accused neighbouring Sudan of ”looting” its oil and has threatened to begin shutting-in production over the next fortnight as the pair continues to row over oil payments, a report claims.

The world’s newest country, recently made independent from its neighbour, does not intend to “produce oil for the Republic of Sudan,” Reuters quoted a South Sudan official as saying.

The South has recently accused Sudan of holding onto oil shipments sent through the latter’s pipeline infrastructure for loading at Port Sudan as in-fighting continues following July’s independence declaration without any subsequent hard-and-fast agreement on oil revenue sharing.

“The ministry of petroleum and mining will sit down to start a technical process that will lead to a decision that will lead to a complete shutdown,” South Sudan government spokesperson Barnaba Marial told Reuters on Friday.

“That will be in a week or two weeks.

“We have taken this decision because South Sudan is not benefiting from oil. It is being taken by force by the Republic of Sudan, and the oil that is going through the pipeline is being looted.”

The news wire quoted the official as positing: “Why would the Republic of South Sudan produce oil for the Republic of Sudan?”

South Sudan claimed on 10 January that Khartoum had diverted southern oil to northern refineries and storage facilities and prevented the loading or departure of five tankers meant to carry 3.4 million barrels of crude out of Port Sudan.

The north said it had not stolen the oil but is taking its share in kind until a transit deal is agreed.

Reports of the confiscation of threaten the region’s prospects for peace and the negotiation of a new oil deal, according to Global Witness.

The non-governmental organisation said recently that the two countries “must agree to a new and transparent arrangement soon or risk seeing the situation deteriorate into renewed conflict”.

Both countries were due to resume talks on 17 January, but tensions were high before the meeting amid reports of export disruption and confiscation of crude by the north.

Source: Upstream Online