Talisman Energy Operations in South Sudan

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Talisman entered Sudan in 1998 when it purchased Arakis Energy, which had acquired interests in Blocks 1, 2 and 4 in 1992 and brought in Chinese, Malaysian and Sudanese partners in 1996 to form the Greater Nile Petroleum Operating Company (GNPOC).[1] Talisman sold its assets in Sudan to India's ONGC Videsh in 2003[1] following intense pressure from non-governmental organizations and a lawsuit filed by the Presbyterian Church of Sudan in a U.S. court.[2]

Law suit alleging human rights violations


The lawsuit, filed in 2001 on behalf of as many as 250,000 non-Muslim Sudanese, alleged that the company committed violations of international law stemming from its oil exploration activities in blocks 1, 2 and 4, and claimed churches were bombed, church leaders slain, and villages attacked to clear the way for oil exploration.[3] The allegations included extrajudicial killing, forcible displacement, war crimes, confiscation and destruction of property, kidnapping, rape, and enslavement - activities which, taken collectively, amounted to genocide, according to the plaintiffs. The suit alleged that Talisman worked with the Sudanese government, based in Khartoum, to devise a plan of security for the oil fields and related facilities; and that based on the joint Talisman-Government strategy, "Government troops and allied militia engaged in an ethnic cleansing operation to execute, enslave or displace the non-Muslim, African Sudanese civilian population from areas that are near the pipeline or where Talisman wanted to drill."[4]

Suit dismissal

US District Judge Denise Cote, in Manhattan, New York, dismissed the lawsuit in September 2006,[5] a decision which was upheld by a federal appeals court in 2009 which ruled that the plaintiffs hadn’t alleged enough facts for the suit to go forward, writing "Plaintiffs have not established Talisman’s purposeful complicity in human rights abuses."[3]


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Fact Sheet Nine: The Main International Oil Companies Present in Sudan, Understanding Sudan, 2009.
  2. "Talisman learned lessons from Sudan, Canada.com, 1 May 2008.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Talisman Court Upholds Sudan Genocide Suit Dismissal (Update2), Bloomberg, 2 October 2009.
  4. "The Presbyterian Church of Sudan versus Talisman Energy, Inc, US District Court Southern District of New York, Retrieved 19 July 2012.
  5. "Talisman Energy Dismissed in Lawsuit, Time, 12 September 2006.