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Last Updated: Tuesday, 2 September, 2003, 12:44 GMT 13:44 UK
Oil firm flees Sudan
Oil workers in Sudan
Austria's OMV has bowed to pressure from human rights groups and pulled out of Sudan.

OMV is Austria's largest industrial group and is the third Western oil firm to pull out of the war-torn country within a year.

Humans rights group have accused oil companies of indirectly financing the government's civil war efforts by investing in the nation's oil resources.

The civil war erupted in 1983 and pits the Islamic government in the north against rebels seeking more autonomy in the Christian and animist south.

But, as in previous cases, an Asian firm will take over the oil exploration block, meaning the government will receive the same level of funding from oil as before.

OMV's exploration manager, Helmut Langanger said the decision was the right one for the company.

But just four months ago, Mr Langanger had told Reuters newswire that OMV had no plans to sell out of Sudan given its "attractive assets".

OMV sold its assets to India's Oil and Natural Gas Corp for $115m (73.3m).

Canada's Talisman, which sold its stake in a pipeline project in Sudan in March, also sold to the Indian oil firm.

China increases Sudan oil stake
19 May 03  |  Business
US fines Deutsche Bank
05 May 03  |  Business
Final push for Sudan peace
07 Apr 03  |  Africa
Talisman pulls out of Sudan
10 Mar 03  |  Business

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