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Sudan Discovers Light-Sweet Crude Deposits in Darfur Block

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Feb. 7 (Bloomberg) -- Sudan discovered deposits of light sweet crude in Block 6 situated on the border between south Darfur and Southern Kordofan state, the Petroleum Minister Awad Ahmed Al-Jazz said.

The block, controlled mainly by China National Petroleum Corp., or CNPC, has “very good potential for oil and gas and will help us get over the difficulties we’ve been through,” Al-Jazz said in an e-mailed statement today from Khartoum, the capital.

Sudan lost three-quarters of its oil production of 490,000 barrels per day, the third-biggest output in sub-Saharan Africa, when South Sudan gained independence on July 9. The two countries are locked in a dispute about what fees South Sudan should pay its northern neighbour to ship crude via a pipeline through Sudan. South Sudan has said it halted oil output until the dispute is resolved.

Block 6 in Sudan consists of eight oilfields operated by Petro Energy E&P Co., which is 95 percent owned by CNPC, while the rest is held by Sudapet, Sudan’s state oil company. The block produces more than 40,000 barrels of crude per day, according to data on CNPC’s website.

Sudan on Jan. 15 opened bidding for six new oil blocks in northern and western Sudan, the Red Sea coast and Blue Nile state.

To contact the reporter on this story: Salma El Wardany in Khartoum via Nairobi at pmrichardson@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Paul Richardson at pmrichardson@bloomberg.net.

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