JUBA - South Sudan is considering building an oil pipeline through Ethiopia and Djibouti, officials said on Thursday, weeks after the new country shut down crude production in a row over export transit fees with Sudan.
South Sudan seceded from Sudan last year, but the two countries have been unable to agree how much the Juba government should pay to transport its oil output of about 350,000 barrels per day through Sudan to a Red Sea port.As talks floundered in December, Khartoum began taking a portion of southern oil to make up for what it calls unpaid fees. Juba responded by halting oil production last month and has started looking for alternative routes to export its crude.
At the moment, the only pipelines taking southern oil to market pass through Sudan. Analysts fear the dispute could spark conflict between the two countries, both of whose economies depend on oil.