CNPC Operations in South Sudan

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CNPC is the largest shareholder in three separate consortia in South Sudan: Petrodar, the country's largest oil producer and pipeline operator,[1] in which CNPC has a 41 percent share in partnership with Petronas (40 percent), Nilepet (8 percent), Sinopec (6 percent), and Tri-Ocean Energy of Kuwait (5 percent); the Greater Nile Petroleum Operating Company (GNPOC), in which CNPC has a 40 percent share in partnership with Petronas (30 percent), ONGC (25 percent) and Nilepet (5 percent); and CNPCIS, in which CNPC has a 95% share in partnership with Nilepet (5%).[2][3]

GNPOC controls blocks 1, 2 and 4, which are split between South Sudan and Sudan; Petrodar controls blocks 3 and 7 in South Sudan; and CNPCIS controls block 6 in South Sudan.[2][3] As of 2009, CNPC also had majority interests in two more blocks currently in the exploration phase, 13 and 15, both located offshore north Sudan.[4]


Sudan was the first country in Africa to receive large-scale Chinese oil investment when CNPC invested in 1996. In the same year, the company signed an exploration and production sharing agreement for Block 6, in present-day north Sudan. In 1996, CNPC gained a 40% stake in the Greater Nile Petroleum Operating Company (GNOPC) consortium, which operates Blocks 1,2 and 4 - the most productive blocks in Sudan in 2009 - and in 2000, acquired a 41% stake in the Petrodar consortium, which operates blocks 3 and 7. CNPC gained shares in two offshore blocks, 15 and 13, located off the coast of northeastern Sudan in the Red Sea.[5]

CNPC has also been active in the oilfield services and construction industries, having completed the pipeline from Heglig (in a disputed area along the border of South Sudan and Sudan) to Port Sudan, as well as the pipeline from the Melut Basin (blocks 3 and 7) to Port Sudan. CNPC also acquired in 2008 the right to market Dar Blend crude, the lower quality of South Sudan's two crude export grades.[5]

CNPC opened a small office in Juba, the capital of South Sudan, late in 2010.[5] The staff of ten provides support to CNPC's operating companies, and will be scaled up to fifteen, Crisis Group Africa reported in April 2012. A series of CNPC subsidiaries responsible for exploration, engineering, construction, and drilling have also transitioned south to Juba, though as of April 2012 they had been largely idle since South Sudan's production shut down in January 2012.[6]


  1. "South Sudan Expels Petrodar Executive" The Wall Street Journal, 22 February 2012.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "IMPLEMENTING CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY IN SOUTH SUDAN" Integrity Research and Consultancy, October 2011.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "South Sudan And Sudan At Loggerheads Over Oil" African Spotlight, 22 November 2011.
  4. "Fact Sheet Nine: The Main International Oil Companies Present in Sudan, Understanding Sudan, 2011.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 "Oil and State Building in South Sudan, US Institute of Peace, July 2011.
  6. "CHINA’S NEW COURTSHIP IN SOUTH SUDAN, Crisis Group Africa, 4 April 2012.