India on Monday evacuated 11 executives of state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corporation
(ONGC) from its oil projects in Sudan after violence escalated on December 15, which claimed 500 lives, including two Indian soldiers working as United Nations peacekeepers.
All the 11 executives working on the 40,000 barrels-per-day (bpd) Greater Nile Oil Project and Block 5A were airlifted, a top official said.
"The evacuation took place in two batches and all officials have arrived in India safely," the official added.
The ONGC executives had shut down the oilfields on Sunday. ONGC Videsh Ltd
(OVL), the overseas arm of ONGC had deputed the 11 employees.
Source said that rebels have so far not captured any of OVL's oil wells but as a precautionary measure all the wells were shut before officials left the country. The company made all the arrangements to evacuate its officials.
OVL owns 25-per cent stake in the Greater Nile Oil Project and 24.125 per cent in Block 5A, which produces 5,000 bpd.
Other partners in the blocks-China's China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) and Petronas of Malaysia too have decided to evacuate their officials from South Sudan, sources added.
Rebel forces loyal to deposed South Sudanese vice- president Riek Machar captured Unity state, which housed most of the fields it was operating.
South Sudan seceded from neighbouring Sudan in July 2011 and took three-quarters of the formerly united country's oil output.
Landlocked South Sudan has sub-Saharan Africa's third- largest oil reserves after Nigeria and Angola.
The oil produced in OVL's fields and other projects in the country are exported through pipelines across neighbouring Sudan. Greater Nile Oil Project comprises of Block 1, 2 & 4.
CNPC has 40-per cent stake in Greater Nile Oil Project, Petronas of Malaysia 30 per cent and Sudapet of Sudan the remaining five per cent.
In Block 5A, OVL holds 24.125 per cent while Petronas has 67.875 per cent and Sudapet has eight per cent.
Courtesy: Mail Today