Splitting Sudan and Oil
Tuesday, November 16, 2010 9:15:11 PM
First a map showing the areas where referenda and “popular consultations” are to be held.
Next a map where I have tried to put it all together, and tried to show the approximate location of the oil fields.
I have also included a map from Wikipedia of Sudanese oil concessions, stressing that a concession does not necessarily mean oil production.
The most important oil fields are obviously situated in the border area, especially the Abyei region, between North and South Sudan, making it a sensitive issue in the relationship between the two areas. A separate referendum scheduled for the same date is to decide whether the particular oil-rich Abyei region joins the north or south.
An oil pipeline already exist from Abyei via Khartoum to the Red Sea. A new oil pipeline is planned from the same area via Kenya to the Indian Ocean - at Luma.
China has been extremely interested in the Sudanese oil. New interesting oil fields have however been discovered in Congo and Uganda. The new pipeline from South Sudan would end in Kenya in a new port in Lamu at the Indidian Ocean, and oil from Uganda and Congo is also planned to be piped to Lamu. These facts might have eased the pressure from China.
Abyei is situated within the Muglad Basin, a large rift basin which contains a number of gas and oil accumulations. The Muglad basin is the largest of the interior cratonic basins of the Sudan. It is part of a trend of Cretaceous sedimentary basins of apparent rift origin in Central Africa. Oil exploration was undertaken in Sudan in the 1970s and 1980s. A period of significant investment in Sudan’s oil industry occurred in the 1990s and Abyei became a target for this investment. By 2003 Abyei contributed more than one quarter of Sudan’s total crude oil output. Production volumes have since declined and reports suggest that Abyei’s reserves are nearing depletion.
The following map is copied from Abdelhakam & Ali Sayed: Stratigraphy and tectonic Evolution of the opil producing Horizons of Muglad Basin, Sudan:
CASZ = Central African Shear Zone
WCARS = West and Central African Rift System
Moffat: Petroleum Systems in an Intracratonic Basin Setting, South-central Sudan.
Abdelhakam & Ali Sayed: Stratigraphy and tectonic Evolution of the oil producing Horizons of Muglad Basin, Sudan
PS of 17 November 2010:
"a southern secession would entail the potential loss of 80 percent of Sudan’s oil reserves, 50 percent of oil revenues, and a third of its population" according to http://blogs.cgdev.org/globaldevelopment/2010/09/sudan-–-southern-secession-oil-and-debt-relief.php