Crude Calculations: The Continued Lack of Transparency over Oil in Sudan
With a referendum on independence for Southern Sudan just days away, oil sector transparency is now more important than ever in preserving the fragile peace.
Suspicions over the sharing of oil revenues under the current peace deal have greatly added to the mistrust between north and south. Given that north and south are both hugely reliant on oil revenues, the single best way to ensure the stability of the country after the referendum is to put a new transparent and verifiable oil deal in place.
The current arrangement and discrepancies
The 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement that brought an end to the war between north and south Sudan contained an innovative oil wealth-sharing deal in which the former foes agreed to split the country's oil wealth.
The $10 billion that have flowed from north to south as a result have played a large part in keeping the peace. However, that deal comes to an end in a few days time, at the same time that a referendum on independence for Southern Sudan is likely to see a landslide vote in favour of secession.
There has been much mistrust over whether the current revenue distribution system has been implemented fairly. In fact mistrust over the revenue sharing was one of the primary reasons for the south's temporary pullout from the power-sharing arrangement in 2007.