India extends invitation to South Sudan President

The offer was conveyed last month by the petroleum ministry to Ranjan Mathai

Written by Amitav Ranjan | New Delhi | Published: April 5, 2012 1:21 am

India is inviting South Sudan President Salva Kiir Mayardit and his petroleum minister and offering to build a pipeline for evacuating its crude oil either to Kenya or Djibouti,and a small refinery to meet its domestic product demand.

The offer was conveyed last month by the petroleum ministry to foreign secretary Ranjan Mathai to set the ball rolling for the presidential visit.

The secretary-general of the ruling Sudanese People’s Liberation Movement is also being extended the invite,said sources.

“This would provide an opportunity for ONGC Videsh Ltd and other downstream companies to interact and establish a stronger foothold in South Sudan,a country so very important for our energy security,” petroleum secretary GC Chaturvedi wrote to Mathai.

The offer is important as South Sudan has stopped crude oil production from its wells last January to protest Khartoum’s oil pilferage under the guise of due transit fees,impacting ONGC Videsh that has substantial investments in oilfields in that country.

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