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Greater Nile Says Reported South Sudanese Oil Wells Accurately

Greater Nile Petroleum Operating Co., which produces crude in Sudan and South Sudan, said it accurately provided data on the number of oil wells to South Sudan amid reports of under counting as the fields were closed.

GNPOC, as the company is known, has made regular reports about its oil wells to South Sudanese authorities since a dispute over borders and fees began, it said today in an e-mailed statement from Sudan’s capital Khartoum.

Refering to the under reporting of oil wells, Elizabeth Bol, deputy oil minister of South Sudan, said “technical staff found this when they were shutting down oil production.”

“We can’t say if it is true or not true. It is better for us to conduct an investigating committee and then we can see,” she said by phone from Juba.

The company’s crude production dropped to 60,000 barrels a day from 120,000 barrels a day after South Sudan completely halted all oil production on Jan. 28 in a dispute with its northern neighbor, a GNPOC official said, declining to be identified citing company policy.

Among the fields GNPOC operates are eight deposits in the Western Upper Nile area and its pipeline links oil from South Sudan with refineries at Khartoum and El Obeid, according to the company website. GNPOC is owned by China National Petroleum Corp., or CNPC, Malaysia’s Petroliam Nasional Bhd., ONGC Videsh Ltd. of India and Sudapet, Sudan’s state oil company.

The company has about 320 wells in South Sudan, of which 145 are oil related, 50 are water injections and about 125 are abandoned, it said in the statement.

South Sudan took control of about three-quarters of Sudan’s oil production of 490,000 barrel a day when it declared independence on July 9.

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