South Sudan Coffers Empty Amid Crippling Crude ‘Diversions’ To Khartoum

South Sudan has diverted crude worth $1.6bn to Sudan in the past three years to pay off arrears in transit and compensation levies. Despite claims to the contrary there appears to be no end in sight to such transfers.

MEES, 11 May 2018

More than four years into a civil war that seems as impervious to resolution as ever, South Sudan’s president admits that Juba’s central bank is “empty.” Notwithstanding the cost of the war effort, MEES analysis of oil marketing data over the past three and half years shows that South Sudan’s net earnings from sales of its own crude have dwindled to virtually nothing as the newly-independent country struggles to clear arrears with its new neighbor to the north (see charts).

South Sudan has received just 15% of the $3.62bn in gross export revenue for its crude since the start of 2017. Some $1.97bn has gone to the foreign partners (largely government-owned firms in China, India and Malaysia) which produce the country’s crude, whilst $1.09bn has been ‘diverted’ directly to Sudan, leaving South Sudan with a mere $552mn.

And this is before South Sudan makes ongoing transit and ‘compensation’ payments to Sudan. If South Sudan had fulfilled its contractual obligations and made these payments, the country’s net crude revenue would actually have been negative…

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Richard Nield is a freelance journalist, photographer and filmmaker covering the Middle East and Africa. In 10 years covering the region, he has been published and broadcast by clients including the BBC, Reuters, Al Jazeera, The Economist, The Financial Times, The Independent and Foreign Policy magazine. He has reported from throughout the region, including Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Tunisia, South Sudan, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.