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Cablegate: Cpa: Progress Made in Sharing Petroleum Data

VZCZCXRO1869
PP RUEHROV
DE RUEHKH #0520 0921423
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 021423Z APR 07
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6696
INFO RUCNIAD/IGAD COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

UNCLAS KHARTOUM 000520

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR AF/SPG AND EB/ESC
PLEASE PASS TO USAID FOR AFR

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAID EFIN EPET PGOV PREL SU
SUBJECT: CPA: PROGRESS MADE IN SHARING PETROLEUM DATA


1. Summary. Under the CPA, the Government of National Unity
is required to share information on oil production, revenues
and contracts with the Government of Southern Sudan (GOSS).
In the past, the GOSS has repeatedly alleged that this
information is not being made available. Now, it appears
that some northern officials are making efforts to share
information more freely, with the Director General of the
Petroleum Unit of the GOSS having access to data. Problems
remain with GOSS lack of technical capacity in understanding
the intricacies of the material being made available, as well
as problems in dissemination of the information within the
GOSS. The upcoming visits of a USG-funded oil advisor offers
the opportunity to further improve this aspect of CPA
implementation. End Summary.

2. In a series of meetings with Embassy officers, officials
from the GNU Ministry of Energy and Mining (MEM) and the GOSS
Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning confirmed progress
in sharing of information on the petroleum sector in Sudan.
Hamad El Neel, Deputy Secretary General at MEM, met with
Econoff on March 24 and reviewed recent developments. The
meeting was a follow up to El Neel's recent presentation to
the Wealth Sharing working group of the Assessment and
Evaluation Commission (AEC). El Neel elaborated on his
efforts to improve liaison with the GOSS and stressed that he
has engaged the SPLM members of the Joint Technical Committee
for Monitoring Net Oil Revenues (the Joint Committee) in
training and information sessions at MEM. He also arranged
for the Norwegian oil advisor to provide training to the
group. He noted that he has given instructions to the MEM
staff that all documents of the MEM, including production
sharing agreements, be made available to Yousif Ramadan,
Director General of the Petroleum Unit of the GOSS Ministry
of Finance and Economic Planning. Ramadan is one of five SPLM
representatives on the Joint Committee.

3. On March 27, Emboffs met with Yousif Ramadan to verify
that he does indeed have access to information at MEM.
Ramadan confirmed that he has an excellent working
relationship with El Neel and that he now has no problem in
getting information from MEM. When pressed on how he shares
the information available with the GOSS offices in Juba,
Ramadan said that he has been sending figures on oil revenues
to the Minister of Finance, Arthur Akuien Chol and his
replacement. (Comment. Chol was dismissed from his job
earlier this month.) Ramadan said he seldom provides
information to political leaders in the South. Ramadan, an
accountant, freely admits that he does not have the technical
knowledge to understand all the information he has access to.
Interestingly, he expressed confidence in the revenue
sharing arrangements now in place, noting that oil production
in Sudan is organized by several consortia, and the members
of each consortium, including the Asian oil companies, demand
figures for production sharing and revenue calculations.

4. On April 1, Econoff attended a lunch, hosted by MEM,
bringing together the members of the Joint Committee. The
lunch followed the regular monthly meeting of the Joint
Committee. Also attending the lunch were: El Sheik El Mak,
Under Secretary of the Ministry of National Finance and
Economy (GNU); Aggrey Tisa Sabuni, Acting Under Secretary,
Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning (GOSS); and,
Archangelo Okwang, Ministry of Petroleum (GOSS). Members of
the Joint Committee confirmed that they have met regularly
since mid-2005, and now have convened more than twenty times.
(Comment: The fact the Joint Committee has been meeting for
some time and the information on oil production is not
circulating in offices in Juba underlines the problem of
communication within the GOSS.)

5. The May visit of an U.S. oil advisor provides an
opportunity to build on the improved information sharing now
emerging between the GNU and the GOSS. Embassy recommends a
meeting of the advisor with members of the Joint Committee,
including Ramadan and El Neel to assess the needs of the GOSS
for capacity building in order to benefit from the
information available to the GOSS.
HUME

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