Interview with Mr. Mohammed Rahim Mahnoud, the President of PDOC (Petrodar Operating Company), Sudan

Global Insight : Can you introduce us to Petrodar Operating Company?

Mr. Mohammed Rahim Mahnoud (MRM): Petrodar Operating Company (PDOC) is an international business company, incorporated in October 2011. The initial concession area was blocks 3 and 7. The total concession area is about 72,000km2. A consortium of international exploration and production oil companies has been established to explore and exploit oil in the concession area. The consortium entered into an Exploration and Production Sharing Agreement (EPSA) with the government of Sudan in November 2000.

The consortium also entered into a Crude Oil Pipeline Agreement (COPA) for the downstream operation in 2006. On 8th May 2011, PDOC concluded the Crude Oil Transportation Agreement (COTA) with the government of Sudan.

In recent years, and mainly due to the separation of South Sudan, Petrodar has gone through many stages. The oil field blocks 3 and 7 are now 90% of its area (in South Sudan), as well as the central process and facilities in the Al-Jablain area, in the south of Rabbak city. The pipeline is about 1,200km to Port Sudan, in the Red Sea. The Central Process Facility (CPF) and the pipeline capacity are over 300,000 per day. But unfortunately, during the separation of South Sudan, the CPF and the pipeline were shut down for a long time and it took a long time to restart the system. We had to discuss it with the partners of the sharing agreement (EPSA) and now there is a new company that took the rest of the blocks 3 and 7 inside the territory of Sudan, which is called Rawat Oil Company. They will start the production again next June, and expect to have between 5,000 and 10,000 barrels per day, which is promising.

They will join the Al-Jabalin pipeline and then Port Sudan pipeline so they can export their production. The Central Processing Facility is working at less than 50% of its capacity due to the decline of production in South Sudan, as it is considered a war zone with little stability for the exploration procedures to be done there.

We are seeking a new agreement in South Sudan in order to get things working again. However, there are plans to save the situation there and to maintain production and keep the pipelines pumping as much as possible.

Q. What is your current main mission and what are the PDOC pipeline operations in Sudan?

MRM: At PDOC we are in the restructuring process, as we are directly employing about 600 people. The processing and transportation of crude oil are major elements of PDOC mission at the now. This is undertaken through the giant PDOC pipeline. PDOC Export Pipeline is one of the three major cross-country pipelines transporting crude oil in the Republic of Sudan. The main pipeline transports export-quality treated crude oil.

Q. In our interview with the Minister of Oil and Gas he mentioned that they are interested in establishing two research labs to boost the industry, how closely is the work being done with companies such as PDOC?

MRM: The government is of course our regularity body, and we share many ideas and concepts. We maintain close relations with representatives as we have regular meetings to discuss the situation and our projects.

Q. How important are environmental policies for PDOC?

MRM: Environmental protection is an integral part of PDOC corporate social responsibility and PDOC is committed to environmental-friendly operations. PDOC makes every effort to comply with all national and international environmental regulations and best practice. Routine environmental monitoring programmes and reporting procedures are in place to ensure that all company activities are operating with minimum impact on the surrounding environment.