Despite the ongoing war between Sudan’s government forces and a paramilitary group, the Sudanese oil industry has managed to remain resilient.
In fact, crude exports by South Sudan have recently reached their highest level in almost two years. This is certainly an impressive feat considering the volatile situation in the region.
Since clashes broke out between the Sudanese Armed Forces and the Rapid Support Forces, experts have expressed concerns about the future of East Africa’s oil hub.
The demands by the army and pro-democracy groups for the integration of RSF into the regular armed forces have further exacerbated the tensions. There were fears that the oil industry, which serves as the main source of livelihood for the region, would suffer immensely.
South Sudan, in order to transport its crude oil, has been providing approximately 10,000 barrels per day to Sudan as transportation fees. This arrangement is necessary because the oil has to pass through Sudan to reach Port Sudan, where it is loaded onto cargo ships. As a result, Sudan receives around 20 million dollars each day from South Sudan’s oil exports.
However, the RSF has been demanding that South Sudan stop providing funds to the SAF. The RSF’s threat to prevent the export of South Sudan’s oil through Port Sudan, which it controls, could potentially lead to a complete meltdown. The consequences of such a meltdown would not only destabilise the region but also potentially cause the collapse of the already volatile state.
Despite these risks, the Sudanese oil industry has managed to weather the storm. Crude shipments have doubled in comparison to figures from just a few months ago. Currently averaging at around 154,839 barrels per day, the industry is thriving amidst the conflict.
One reason for this resilience is the strategic measures taken by the Sudanese government and the oil industry itself. Efforts to secure the oil fields and ensure the smooth flow of exports have played a crucial role. Additionally, international support and cooperation have also helped to alleviate the risks associated with the conflict.