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Kenya, S, Sudan explore pipeline options

  |   Aug. 13, 2012 at 8:37 AM
NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug. 13 (UPI) -- South Sudan and Kenya will realize benefits from a planned $3 billion oil pipeline planned for a port on the Indian Ocean, an official said.

The Kenyan and South Sudanese governments signed a deal to build a 1,200-mile crude oil pipeline between the countries starting in June. As much as 1 million barrels of crude oil from South Sudan could run through the planned pipeline.

"This is a project we are both relying on for the transportation of our crude oil to the port of Lamu (on the Indian Ocean)," South Sudan's Petroleum Minister Stephen Dhieu was quoted by Kenya's business daily newspaper The Standard as saying.

South Sudan gained independence last year under the terms of a 2005 peace deal with Sudan. That deal gave South Sudan control over most of the oil fields, though Sudan maintained authority over export routes.

A deal reached last week ended South Sudan's oil boycott that halted production of 350,000 barrels of crude. The government in January halted oil production because of payment disputes with Khartoum.

South Sudanese President Salva Kiir met this year with Chinese authorities to get Beijing's financial support for the pipeline through Kenya.

China gets about 3 percent of its oil from the Sudanese region.

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