* Jan Dar Blend exports to be about 21 pct less than planned
* Nile Blend exports cut after production halt in South
By Florence Tan
SINGAPORE, Jan 8 South Sudan reduced crude oil
exports in December and January as an internal strife disrupted
production, industry sources familiar with the matter said on
The world's newest state is on the brink of a civil war
after fighting erupted between the government and rebels three
weeks ago, prompting oilfield operators to evacuate most of
The latest supply disruption occurred barely six months
after South Sudan resumed production following a year-long halt
due to a dispute with neighbouring Sudan.
Exports of heavy sweet Dar Blend will drop to 4.6 million
barrels, or about 148,000 barrels per day (bpd), in January in a
revised loading programme, one source said, down about 21
percent from 187,000 bpd originally planned.
Two of the seven cargoes that had been scheduled for loading
in January have been deferred to February, he said.
Unipec, the trading arm of Asia's largest refiner Sinopec
, had bought six cargoes while a trading
firm purchased the remaining one.
It was not immediately clear what the current production for
Dar Blend was, although a second source said output had dropped
to about 140,000 bpd.
Dar Blend is produced in the Upper Nile state, in Blocks 3
and 7 that are operated by the Petrodar Operating Company.
China National Petroleum Corp and Malaysia's
Petronas, major shareholders of Petrodar, could not be
immediately reached for comment.
Exports of Nile Blend, another Sudanese crude, have also
dropped after production was shut in South Sudan's Unity state
last month. The grade is also produced in Sudan where output is
In a revised loading programme, two Nile Blend cargoes will
load in January, down from three originally, the sources said.
These include a cargo that was scheduled to load in December.
Supply cuts in South Sudan and Libya have supported Brent
crude futures although physical markets, especially West
African grades, remained well supplied.
CNPC, Petronas and India's ONGC Videsh hold
equity stakes in Sudanese oilfields producing Nile Blend.
(Reporting by Florence Tan, additional reporting by Judy Hua in
Beijing; Editing by Himani Sarkar)