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«Human Rights Watch Brussels London New York Washington, D.C. Copyright © 2003 by Human Rights Watch. All rights reserved. Printed in the United ...»

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Arakis primarily operated in the Appalachian Mountains in the U.S. The situation in Sudan was far more hostile and had forced a much larger, more experienced, and wealthier oil company to leave because of major security risks and questions about the project’s commercial viability.211 In July 1993, Arakis announced that it would assume full ownership over the project—buying out its partner State Petroleum —and concentrate on raising the estimated U.S. $ 750 million to $1 billion 207 “Chevron Sells Exploration Interests in the Republic of Sudan,” PR Newswire, San Francisco, June 15, 1992. This was an enormous loss for Chevron, which together with Shell had sunk about U.S. $ 1 billion into the project. As a result of the sale, Concorp acquired all petroleum exploration and production rights in the concession, which included the exploration blocks in the Melut and Muglad Basins. Concorp was said to be partly owned by Mohamed Abdallah Jar Al Nabi, a Sudanese national. “APS Review Oil Market Trends,” Arab Press Service Organisation, June 7, 1993. Concorp then sold blocks off the concession to various buyers, with the required approval of the Sudanese government.

Concorp, a private multinational company registered in Sudan, Uganda, the U.S., and India, later became the owner of the first private-sector oil refinery in Sudan, located in the Khartoum suburb of Al Shajarah, inaugurated on June 30, 1999. “Sudan’s First Private Sector Oil Refinery Inaugurated,” AFP, Khartoum, June 30, 1999.

208 Headed by a Pakistani national, Latki Khan, State Petroleum was, according to an Arakis officer, “a paper corporation formed by Canadian Muslims primarily to seek the Sudanese concessions that had been given up by Chevron.” “Arakis’ Partner Gets Approval in Sudan,” Platt’s Oilgram News (New York), July 9, 1993.

209 “Little-Known Firm in Canada Granted Sudan Properties,” Platt’s Oilgram News (New York), December 8, 1992.

210 “Sudan Financing Is Reduced,” Platt’s Oilgram News (New York), New Orleans, March 30, 1993.

211 “Arakis’ Partner Gets Approval in Sudan,” July 9, 1993.

–  –  –

needed to finance the Sudan project.212 Arakis proved unable to raise enough capital to complete the project, however, though it did succeed in making new discoveries at Toma South and El Toor (Athonj) oilfields in Block 1.213 Formation of GNPOC Consortium, 1996 Despite the collapse of a mooted Saudi-backed finance deal for Arakis in 1995, later found by the British Columbia Securities Commission (BCSC) to have involved false and misleading statements and insider trading,214 some activity continued on the ground in Sudan. Road building began north of Bentiu in 1996, in preparation for moving in heavy equipment. In June 1996, Arakis brought eight wells on stream at Heglig, subsequently shipping low levels of crude oil to a small refinery at El Obeid in Northern Kordofan for domestic consumption.215 One journalist who visited the drilling site wrote, The relationship between Arakis and its Sudanese hosts is self-evidently symbiotic....

The oil camp opens its doors to military men as well as nomads. Arakis services broken 212 “Arakis Partner Gets Approval in Sudan,” July 9, 1993 (referring to approval of development plans).

213 Arakis spent only U.S. $ 125 million in the five years between 1993 and 1998, compared to the almost U.S.$ 499.5 million in capital expenditures that Talisman put into Sudan in two and a half years, 1998-2000—almost four times the investment in half the time; Talisman Energy, “Background Paper,” pp. 4, 8; Talisman Energy press release,“Talisman Generates a Record $ 2.4 Billion in Cash Flow $ 906 Million in Net Income,” Calgary, March 6, 2001.

214 Arakis reported it had secured financing from a Saudi prince. Its price jumped, some insiders profited, then it developed that neither the money nor the royal connection was there, according to the British Columbia Securities Commission (BCSC)’s findings.

Arakis had to pay a fine of Canadian $ 250,000 or about U.S. $ 200,000, and several persons associated with the scheme were penalized. BCSC, “In the Matter of the Securities Act (R.S.B.C.) 1996, c. 418, and In the Matter of Arakis Energy Corporation,” Agreed Statement of Facts and Undertaking, May 12, 1998. Former chief executive officer James Terrence Alexander had to pay Canadian $1.2 million in fines for his role in these securities law breaches. Ibid.; “In the Matter of James Terrence Alexander,” Agreed Statement of Facts and Undertaking, Vancouver, B.C., February 23, 1999; Allan Dowd, “Former head of Canada oil firm fined for insider trades,” Reuters, Vancouver, February 24, 1999.

215 “Sudan Pipeline Operational,” Petroleum Economist (London), August 1, 1999, p. 15.

–  –  –

Despite this small success, Arakis failed to raise sufficient funds for the larger project, while it remained under government pressure to produce. On December 6, 1996, Arakis sold 75 percent of its interest in the project to three other companies, with which it formed a consortium called the Greater Nile Petroleum Operating Company (GNPOC), whose value Arakis put at approximately U.S. $1 billion.217 The GNPOC Exploration and Production Agreement was planned to last thirty years (until 2026).218 Arakis was to be the operational partner. The three other companies were state-owned: the China National Petroleum Company (CNPC), Malaysia’s Petronas Carigali Overseas Sudan Berhad (a subsidiary of Petronas Nasional Berhad, the national petroleum corporation of Malaysia), and Sudan’s state-owned oil enterprise Sudapet Limited. They would own 40, 30, and 5 percent of the project, respectively, and the remaining 25 percent would remain in Arakis’ hands.219 CNPC and Petronas put up further project financing until Talisman entered the picture in 1998.





On March 1, 1997, the Arakis-led GNPOC consortium agreed to build an estimated 1,540-kilometer export pipeline from the oilfields north to a new marine port for oil supertankers on the Red Sea. The Crude Oil Pipeline Agreement (COPA) called for the GNPOC consortium to construct, own, and operate this pipeline and the supertanker export terminal, as well as field surface facilities.220 216 Pratap Chatterjee, “Canada-Sudan: Activists Condemn Oil Company’s Operations in Sudan,” Inter Press Service (IPS), San Francisco, August 26, 1997, citing Martin Cohn, a reporter at the Toronto Star who had visited the site.

217 Arakis Energy Corporation press release, “Arakis Forms Sudan Consortium,”Canadian Corporate News, December 6, 1996.

218 Petronas Corporate Affairs press release, “Prime Minister Opens Petronas Office and Launches Petronas Operations in Sudan,” Khartoum, May 15, 1998.

219 James Norman, “Arakis Pulls In Two Hefty Partners for Sudan Work,” Platt’s Oilgram News (New York), December 9, 1996.

220 The agreement awarded a management consultant services contract for the pipeline and export terminal project to a 60 percent subsidiary of Petronas. “Prime Minister Opens Petronas Office...,” May 15, 1998.

124Oil in Southern Sudan

In late 1997 Arakis sold off its U.S. assets in response to the tightening of U.S. sanctions on U.S.

companies doing business in Sudan. However, Arakis was unable to find financing for its share of the venture, and agreed to sell its interest in GNPOC to Talisman Energy in August 1998.221

Divide, Displace, and Destroy in the Oil Areas

Army/Muraheleen displacement, 1992-98 Displacement forced by the army started up again in the 1992 dry season, the same year that Arakis and State Petroleum acquired Blocks 1, 2, and 4 of the dormant Chevron concession. In February 1992, according to an investigation undertaken at the behest of the Canadian government in 1999, “military offensives caused the deaths of 35 people (mostly civilians), the theft of about 500 cows, some tukls [homesteads] burned and people forced out” of Pandakwil, Kong, Panlokwoc, Lok, Kwoc, and PanlockBibiok, hamlets in the oilfield area north of Bentiu (Blocks 1 and 2).”222 Many of those displaced, however, returned and rebuilt. The government and its muraheleen allies then undertook a five-month offensive to dislodge the civilians permanently. From November 1992 (a month before the sale to Arakis and State Petroleum) through April 1993, these forces looted, burned, killed, and abducted people around the town of Heglig in Block 2.223 This period saw at least 213 deaths, sixty-three abductions, instances of rape, and 1,237 head of cattle stolen. In all, fifty-seven hamlets were burned, and 1,300 people displaced to government of SudanSudan Deal Signed by Arakis, Government, and Partners,” Platt’s Oilgram News (New York), March 4, 1997; Paul Knox, “Fighting in Sudan Threatens Oil Project—Despite Ottawa’s Pleas, Calgary Firm Won’t Move Workers to Safer Site,” Globe and Mail (Toronto), February 14, 1998; Starr Spencer, “Arakis, Unable to Raise Funds, Forced to Seek Sale,” Platt’s Oilgram News (New York), July 17, 1998.

222 Harker report, pp. 10, 47.

223 Ibid., p. 10.

–  –  –

controlled areas before SPLA forces caused the Sudanese government troops to withdraw to Bentiu and El Obeid towns.224 The government launched a new offensive at the beginning of the next dry season, in December 1993.

This time, the army hit hamlets close to Heglig: Panlok, Kwok, Nhorial, and Panagwit. Twenty-six residents were reportedly killed. Survivors maintained that the government aimed to clear the area so the SPLA would not remain near the oilfields. “It was after this that the area around Heglig was more or less deserted except for [government of Sudan] forces,” the Canadian delegation reported.225 The Dinka village of Maper in Block 1 was renamed Munga after government troops deployed there and the oilfield named Munga was developed.

Shortly before the formation of the GNPOC consortium in December 1996, displacement accelerated again. In October 1996, the government launched a muraheleen/army offensive that displaced many thousands in Ruweng County and looted their cattle and grain. Some of the displaced went into what witnesses referred to as “peace camps,” a term usually used in the Nuba Mountains to describe sites in which forcibly displaced persons were required to live and provide free labor to soldiers and others. The camps were said to be in Pariang and Athonj (El Toor).226 This displacement continued. In late January 1998, a relief agency assessment team visited Ruweng (Panaru) County in the Padit area just east of Block 1, in Block 5A, an area inhabited mostly by Dinka.

Ruweng County straddles Blocks 1 and 5A.227 224 Ibid., pp. 47-48.

225 Ibid., p. 48.

226 Ibid., p. 11. Athonj (El Toor) village was later forcibly removed by the government soldiers. See below.

227 Since 1983, Ruweng (Panaru) County had been without any assistance from the outside world whatsoever. The security situation did not allow for any project to be implemented, even an emergency project, although the need was great. In 1993 and in 1994 it was assessed for civilian health and nutrition status by different agencies operating from the southern sector of Operation Lifeline Sudan. At the time relief airstrips were in Nyarweng, Awet, Ruweng (Panaru) County, Western Upper Nile. Security continued to be the main problem for those wishing to bring help to the seriously ill population. In 1994 and 1995 the Italian medical

126Oil in Southern Sudan

The assessment team was told by the residents and the displaced persons there that two months before, in November to December 1997, a government army force from the garrison town of Pariang had attacked sixteen villages northwest, west, and southwest of Pariang (Block 1). The displaced provided the names of those, their own villages.228 Most of the villages were looted and burned down, cattle were raided, and some elderly and young children—those not fast enough to run away—were killed.

The assessment team visited one of the villages identified by the displaced, Monykwo. There they counted sixty-eight burned down tukls (homes); the church and six tukls were still intact. The sorghum was partly harvested. The team visited the population of Monykwo in the acacia forest east of the Diir River: they saw ten small camps, with thirty to forty people (three or four families) sharing one camp.

There were no food supplies, hardly any mosquito nets or blankets, and the families lacked shelter. The people interviewed there and in a displaced area to the north (who had fled from the burned village of Ling), said that they had been displaced because of the attacks, during which they had lost most of their property, such as clay pots, mosquito nets, and blankets.

The people of this area did not suffer at government army hands only. These Dinka residents of the Padit, Ruweng County, area, who had always been identified with the SPLM/A, reported to the 1998 assessment team that they had been attacked three times after 1991 by Riek Machar’s governmentsupported forces.229 They said that Riek Machar’s forces had occupied the area for five months in 1993, burning and looting homes. They told the agency team that the Riek Machar forces again occupied the NGO Comitato Collaborazione Medica (CCM) visited the area three times, bringing medicine and medical equipment, intending to build a hospital in the Padit area. In 1995 two CCM doctors were captured by a government militia and taken to Khartoum, bringing to an end the work of CCM in the area. Also as a result of denial of airstrip clearance from the government of Sudan, no NGOs visited the area between 1995 and January 1998, when an agency assessment team visited; a U.N. agency assessed food needs in December 1997. Human Rights Watch, Behind the Red Line: Political Repression in Sudan, pp. 334-38; Human Rights Watch, Civilian Devastation, pp. 149-51; Agency assessment, Padit, Ruweng County, Western Upper Nile, Sudan, January 23-February 2, 1998 (anonymity requested). (An alternative spelling for Padit is Padiet, used in the assessment.) 228 The sixteen villages were Ling, Awuc, Monykwo, Panpeth, Nyanjunga, Biem, Nyongjac, Kaigo, Ruckshuk, Panret, Kong, Pashuak, Lele, Agarak, and Patuok. Agency assessment, Padit, 1998.

229 1993 report annexed to Agency assessment, Padit, 1998.

127Human Rights Watch



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