AFP

December 20, 2011

KHARTOUM — Cash-strapped Sudan on Monday said it will open six exploration blocks for bidding by international oil companies, after losing 75 percent of its oil production when the south separated in July.

“Everyone is invited to invest in this country,” Minister of Petroleum Awad Ahmed Aljaz told reporters, through a translator.

He said investors will be treated well “as long as they come without any strings or baggage.”

South Sudan, which gained independence in July following a two-decade civil war, produces three quarters of the now divided country’s 470,000 barrels per day of oil.

The vast majority of Khartoum’s export earnings came from petroleum, leaving the government now scrambling for ways to bolster its finances.

The bidding process for the six blocks will start on January 15 and the government aims to announce winners by May, said Azhari Abdalla, director general of the oil ministry’s Oil Exploration and Production Authority…Read more.