Showing posts tagged as "hydrocarbon resources"

Showing posts tagged hydrocarbon resources

4 May
Foreign Policy | The Accidental Peacemaker
China did something very unusual in the United Nations this week: It did not abstain from, much less veto, a resolution threatening to impose sanctions unless Sudan stopped killing civilians in South Sudan. China has long treated Sudan as a client state, and it stood by Khartoum during the long years when Western powers tried to stop the atrocities the regime was committing in Darfur. Yet, after a discussion that a Security Council diplomat described as “substantive but not acrimonious,” China voted for Resolution 2046, which demands that both Sudan and South Sudan put an end to cross-border attacks and return to negotiations.
China has not, of course, become a convert to human rights, as the current standoff over activist Chen Guangcheng proves all too vividly. Nor is it having second thoughts about its foundational foreign-policy doctrine of “nonintervention,” which has made China the defender of authoritarian regimes the world over. A recent report on Chinese foreign policy by the British group Saferworld concludes that “At least for now, non-interference, stable regimes and stable relations that are conducive to maintaining China’s global economic engagement, will retain precedence in guiding Beijing’s diplomatic relations with conflict-affected states.”
But something important has happened: Facing a situation in which the principle of nonintervention doesn’t tell it what to do, China has been forced to join the United States and other countries, as well as the African Union, in actively trying to end a brutal conflict. China has supported Sudan over the last decade because Sudan supplied China with oil. Last year, however, when South Sudan became independent, Khartoum lost most of its oil-producing territory. China immediately began courting the new country with visits from senior officials and a blizzard of proposed investment deals. Only last week, while South Sudanese President Salva Kiir was in Beijing, China announced an $8 billion loan to the new country to build major infrastructure projects. But though South Sudan has most of the oil, Sudan has the pipelines and the refining equipment. So China needs both countries — and the rising spiral of violence between them, provoked largely though not wholly by Khartoum, has forced China to get off the sidelines.
FULL ARTICLE (Foreign Policy)

Foreign Policy | The Accidental Peacemaker

China did something very unusual in the United Nations this week: It did not abstain from, much less veto, a resolution threatening to impose sanctions unless Sudan stopped killing civilians in South Sudan. China has long treated Sudan as a client state, and it stood by Khartoum during the long years when Western powers tried to stop the atrocities the regime was committing in Darfur. Yet, after a discussion that a Security Council diplomat described as “substantive but not acrimonious,” China voted for Resolution 2046, which demands that both Sudan and South Sudan put an end to cross-border attacks and return to negotiations.

China has not, of course, become a convert to human rights, as the current standoff over activist Chen Guangcheng proves all too vividly. Nor is it having second thoughts about its foundational foreign-policy doctrine of “nonintervention,” which has made China the defender of authoritarian regimes the world over. A recent report on Chinese foreign policy by the British group Saferworld concludes that “At least for now, non-interference, stable regimes and stable relations that are conducive to maintaining China’s global economic engagement, will retain precedence in guiding Beijing’s diplomatic relations with conflict-affected states.”

But something important has happened: Facing a situation in which the principle of nonintervention doesn’t tell it what to do, China has been forced to join the United States and other countries, as well as the African Union, in actively trying to end a brutal conflict. China has supported Sudan over the last decade because Sudan supplied China with oil. Last year, however, when South Sudan became independent, Khartoum lost most of its oil-producing territory. China immediately began courting the new country with visits from senior officials and a blizzard of proposed investment deals. Only last week, while South Sudanese President Salva Kiir was in Beijing, China announced an $8 billion loan to the new country to build major infrastructure projects. But though South Sudan has most of the oil, Sudan has the pipelines and the refining equipment. So China needs both countries — and the rising spiral of violence between them, provoked largely though not wholly by Khartoum, has forced China to get off the sidelines.

FULL ARTICLE (Foreign Policy)

30 Apr
NPR | Canceling Out The ‘Background Noise’ On Egypt-Israel Relations
By ending a historic gas contract with Israel, is Egypt laying the groundwork for a fundamental shift in relations? Not quite, says Rob Malley of the International Crisis Group.
Malley, program director for the Middle East and North Africa, talks to NPR’s David Greene on Weekend Edition about last week’s announcement, which raised questions of political rifts. 
FULL TRANSCRIPT AND PODCAST (NPR)

NPR | Canceling Out The ‘Background Noise’ On Egypt-Israel Relations

By ending a historic gas contract with Israel, is Egypt laying the groundwork for a fundamental shift in relations? Not quite, says Rob Malley of the International Crisis Group.

Malley, program director for the Middle East and North Africa, talks to NPR’s David Greene on Weekend Edition about last week’s announcement, which raised questions of political rifts. 

FULL TRANSCRIPT AND PODCAST (NPR)

25 Apr
The Financial Times | South Sudan seeks Beijing investment
South Sudan will seek Chinese funds to build an alternative oil pipeline so that it no longer depends on the north to export its oil, a senior official said, ahead of a presidential visit to Beijing.
FULL ARTICLE (The Financial Times)

The Financial Times | South Sudan seeks Beijing investment

South Sudan will seek Chinese funds to build an alternative oil pipeline so that it no longer depends on the north to export its oil, a senior official said, ahead of a presidential visit to Beijing.

FULL ARTICLE (The Financial Times)

24 Apr
The Wall Street Journal | Sudans Fight as China Urges Restraint
Sudanese fighter jets struck positions along the disputed oil-rich border with South Sudan as politicians on both sides rekindled talk of war, while the south’s president visited Beijing to build an alliance with an investor whose support could help keep both nations afloat.
South Sudan on Tuesday accused Sudan of attacking villages, oil wells and troops on its side of the border, while Khartoum said it was attacking rebels only on its own territory. The fighting is the latest chapter in a decades-old conflict that has simmered since South Sudan’s secession in July left many issues unsettled, including the demarcation of the border.
The violence has frustrated foreign powers who hoped peace between the two east African nations and smoothly functioning oil production would help alleviate pressure on global crude prices. China, in particular, has invested in Sudan’s oil industry, but conflict has complicated its efforts to ramp up imports.
With Ugandan officials threatening last week to enter the conflict if Khartoum fulfilled its vow to attack the South Sudan capital of Juba, allies of both nations have voiced concern that a widening war would further destabilize the region.
FULL ARTICLE (WSJ) 

The Wall Street Journal | Sudans Fight as China Urges Restraint

Sudanese fighter jets struck positions along the disputed oil-rich border with South Sudan as politicians on both sides rekindled talk of war, while the south’s president visited Beijing to build an alliance with an investor whose support could help keep both nations afloat.

South Sudan on Tuesday accused Sudan of attacking villages, oil wells and troops on its side of the border, while Khartoum said it was attacking rebels only on its own territory. The fighting is the latest chapter in a decades-old conflict that has simmered since South Sudan’s secession in July left many issues unsettled, including the demarcation of the border.

The violence has frustrated foreign powers who hoped peace between the two east African nations and smoothly functioning oil production would help alleviate pressure on global crude prices. China, in particular, has invested in Sudan’s oil industry, but conflict has complicated its efforts to ramp up imports.

With Ugandan officials threatening last week to enter the conflict if Khartoum fulfilled its vow to attack the South Sudan capital of Juba, allies of both nations have voiced concern that a widening war would further destabilize the region.

FULL ARTICLE (WSJ) 

23 Apr
Reuters | The Sudans put China in a policy bind
When one of your big oil suppliers splits into rival states, that’s a problem for any country. When you’re China, with its huge appetite for energy and a tradition of never wanting to take sides, it becomes a foreign policy migraine.
China’s balancing act between South Sudan and Sudan will take centre stage when the South’s president visits Beijing on Monday, seeking political and economic backing amid escalating tensions with its northern neighbor.
President Salva Kiir’s six-day trip comes days after he ordered troops to withdraw from the oil-rich Heglig region after seizing it from Sudan, a move that brought the two countries to the brink of all-out war.
For China, invested in the oil sector of both nations, the standoff shows how its economic expansion abroad has at times forced Beijing to deal with distant quarrels it would like to avoid. South Sudan gained independence from Khartoum last year.
"We’ve seen Beijing drawn into a tug-of-war, as each side attempts to pull Chinese interests in line with its own," said Zach Vertin, senior analyst for Sudan and South Sudan at the International Crisis Group think-tank.
"But China doesn’t want to step too far in either direction and risk damaging relations with either of its partners."
That, Vertin said, is the reality China has to grapple with as its global footprint grows.
FULL ARTICLE (Reuters)
Photo: babesteve/ Flickr 

Reuters | The Sudans put China in a policy bind

When one of your big oil suppliers splits into rival states, that’s a problem for any country. When you’re China, with its huge appetite for energy and a tradition of never wanting to take sides, it becomes a foreign policy migraine.

China’s balancing act between South Sudan and Sudan will take centre stage when the South’s president visits Beijing on Monday, seeking political and economic backing amid escalating tensions with its northern neighbor.

President Salva Kiir’s six-day trip comes days after he ordered troops to withdraw from the oil-rich Heglig region after seizing it from Sudan, a move that brought the two countries to the brink of all-out war.

For China, invested in the oil sector of both nations, the standoff shows how its economic expansion abroad has at times forced Beijing to deal with distant quarrels it would like to avoid. South Sudan gained independence from Khartoum last year.

"We’ve seen Beijing drawn into a tug-of-war, as each side attempts to pull Chinese interests in line with its own," said Zach Vertin, senior analyst for Sudan and South Sudan at the International Crisis Group think-tank.

"But China doesn’t want to step too far in either direction and risk damaging relations with either of its partners."

That, Vertin said, is the reality China has to grapple with as its global footprint grows.

FULL ARTICLE (Reuters)

Photo: babesteve/ Flickr 

20 Apr
The New York Times | As Sudanese Clashes Escalate, So Do Bellicose Exchanges
Less than a year after the nation of South Sudanwas born out of a delicate peace agreement with Sudan, the two countries have plunged into war, a Sudanese government spokesman said Thursday.
Recent fighting between Sudan and South Sudan has grown from a struggle over the contested, oil-rich region of Heglig to inflame a number of areas along the border and beyond.
This week, Sudanese planes struck “deep into South Sudan,” hitting an important town, according to Susan E. Rice, the American ambassador to the United Nations. A United Nations compound inside South Sudan was also hit by bombs.
For its part, South Sudan has claimed to have shot down Sudanese jets and killed hundreds of Sudanese soldiers in battles over Heglig, which it said it captured from Sudan last week.
The African Union has condemned South Sudan’s seizure of Heglig as illegal, and theUnited Nations Security Council has demanded an immediate end to the fighting, a withdrawal of the South’s troops from Heglig, an end to Sudanese aerial bombardments and a halt to repeated cross-border violence.
FULL ARTICLE (The New York Times) 
Photo: Al Jazeera English/ Flickr

The New York Times | As Sudanese Clashes Escalate, So Do Bellicose Exchanges

Less than a year after the nation of South Sudanwas born out of a delicate peace agreement with Sudan, the two countries have plunged into war, a Sudanese government spokesman said Thursday.

Recent fighting between Sudan and South Sudan has grown from a struggle over the contested, oil-rich region of Heglig to inflame a number of areas along the border and beyond.

This week, Sudanese planes struck “deep into South Sudan,” hitting an important town, according to Susan E. Rice, the American ambassador to the United Nations. A United Nations compound inside South Sudan was also hit by bombs.

For its part, South Sudan has claimed to have shot down Sudanese jets and killed hundreds of Sudanese soldiers in battles over Heglig, which it said it captured from Sudan last week.

The African Union has condemned South Sudan’s seizure of Heglig as illegal, and theUnited Nations Security Council has demanded an immediate end to the fighting, a withdrawal of the South’s troops from Heglig, an end to Sudanese aerial bombardments and a halt to repeated cross-border violence.

FULL ARTICLE (The New York Times) 

Photo: Al Jazeera English/ Flickr

25 Jan

Reuters: South Sudan and Sudan in row over transit fees

Hereward Holland and Aaron Maasho

South Sudan’s oil output is on track to be more than halved as it moves toward a full shutdown, an official said on Wednesday, one day after the country signed a deal to build a new export pipeline through Kenya rather than its old civil war foe Sudan.

Landlocked South Sudan - which seceded from Sudan last July under a 2005 peace accord - has long sought an export route through East Africa but analysts say the project faces security and financial challenges that could prove difficult to overcome.

The announcement of the pipeline agreement late on Tuesday comes amid an increasingly bitter row with Sudan over how much South Sudan should pay to use Khartoum’s pipeline and Red Sea port which the new nation depends on to export its oil.

There are powerful political motivations supporting the push for the pipeline by South Sudan, which broke away from Sudan last July under a 2005 peace deal that ended decades of civil war, said Zach Vertin at the International Crisis Group.

"Such a decision may not be taken on the grounds of economic rationality alone, but rather guided by a feeling that they won’t realise full independence as long they’re held financially hostage," Vertin said.

The biggest buyer of oil from the two countries is China which bought some 12.99 million barrels last year. That amounted to five percent of crude imports by China, which is also the top investor in South Sudan’s oilfields.

FULL ARTICLE (Reuters)

Photo:babasteve/Flickr