BEIJING Dec 20 China National Petroleum Company
, a main oil investor in South Sudan, is evacuating
oil workers to the capital, Juba, amid continued fighting in the
world's newest country, a company official and state media said
State news agency Xinhua said CNPC planned to fly out 32
"We are arranging the orderly evacuation of our workers, but
the affected oilfield was not operated by CNPC," said a CNPC
media official, without commenting on whether the company's oil
production was affected.
Xinhua said an oilfield in the northern part of South Sudan,
operated by a consortium of Indian, Malaysian and South Sudanese
companies, was caught up in unrest on Thursday that killed 14
South Sudanese oil workers.
China's Foreign Ministry said that the embassy there would
help evacuate Chinese nationals.
"The embassy will continue to urge the government of South
Sudan to take measures to protect the safety of Chinese workers
and organisations," ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told a
daily news briefing.
China has expressed concern about the unrest and urged a
swift return to peace.
CNPC is major shareholder in two oil consortia that operate
in South Sudan - Petrodar, which also counts Malaysian state oil
firm Petronas as a partner, and the Greater Nile
Petroleum Operating Company (GNPOC). India's ONGC Videsh
also operates oilfields, and France's Total
has exploration acreage in country.
South Sudan, a nation the size of France, has the
third-largest reserves in Sub-Saharan Africa after Angola and
Nigeria, according to BP.
Oil production, which had been about 245,000 barrels per
day, supplies the government with most of its revenues.
The conflict in South Sudan has killed hundreds and deepened
ethnic divisions in the two-year-old nation. South Sudanese
government troops battled to regain control of a flashpoint town
and sent forces to quell fighting in a vital oil producing area
on Thursday, the fifth day of the conflict.
A United Nations official reported on Thursday that about
200 oil workers who sought refuge at a U.N. base in Unity State,
a South Sudanese oil-producing region bordering Sudan, were
expected to be evacuated by their employers, without naming the
(Reporting by Adam Rose and Chen Aizhu; Editing by Nick Macfie)