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Last Updated:  Monday, 10 March, 2003, 10:54 GMT
Talisman pulls out of Sudan
Talisman oil workers
Talisman promises to return when there is peace
Canadian energy group Talisman has sold its stake in a controversial oil project in Sudan for $750m to India's national oil company.

The 25% stake in the Greater Nile Oil production and pipeline project had attracted heavy criticism from human rights groups.

They accused Talisman of providing the Islamist Sudanese government with oil revenues which were used to finance the two decade old civil war with mostly Christian and animist separatists in the south.

"We say welcome to the Indian company," Sudanese Energy Minister Awad al-Jaz told reporters.

"This deal was done with the consent of all and everybody is happy."

The sale was originally due to have been concluded in December.

The Indian company ONGC Videsh also operates in Russia, Vietnam, Iran and Libya.

US pressures

Talisman promised to return to Sudan once a peace agreement is signed.

"It has been very difficult for us to operate (in Sudan)," said Talisman's chief executive Jim Buckee.

"In the event of signing a peace agreement, we will come back to Sudan," he said.

Mr Buckee said the decision to pull-out had been made because of "US pressures" which threatened to exclude Talisman from US financial markets.

Talisman could be subject to sanctions under the US Sudan Peace Act if Washington decides Khartoum is not making serious efforts to end the conflict which has claimed 2 million lives.

The other partners in the venture are Malaysia's state oil firm Petronas, China National Petroleum Corp and Sudan's Sudapet.

Talisman promises Sudanese sale
05 Mar 03 |  Business

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