* Tanker was anchored off Japan since Feb. 14-sources
* Proceeds will be held by court until dispute resolved
* S.Sudan minister says will pursue buyers of "our oil"
(Adds background, details of court case, quote from S.Sudan
By Emma Farge
LONDON, Feb 20 Oil trader Trafigura
said on Monday that a tanker carrying disputed
Sudanese oil has received permission from an English court to
deliver the contents to its destination and that proceeds will
be held by the court until ownership is established.
The 600,000 barrel tanker, the Ratna Shradha, has been
stranded off Japan for the past week waiting permission to dock
because of uncertainty surrounding ownership of the oil,
shipping and traders sources said.
Reuters revealed earlier this month that Geneva-based
Trafigura, the world's third largest oil trader, bought oil
which the South Sudanese government claims was seized by its
northern neighbour and former civil war foe the two governments
will be resolved as quickly as Sudan.
"With respect to the dispute between the governments of The
Republic of Sudan and North Sudan over the ownership of crude
oil on the Ratna Shradha, we can confirm that the English court
has ordered that delivery can be made, and that the court will
hold all proceeds related to the cargo until ownership is
legally established," the company said in an emailed statement.
"We hope that the entire matter between the two governments
will be resolved as quickly as possible."
The tanker's owner Chambal Fertilisers and Chemicals Ltd.
submitted the case to a British commercial court on
February 15, a court official told Reuters, after questions over
the legal ownership emerged.
The defendants in the case are listed as the Republic of
Sudan, the Republic of South Sudan and Union de Banques Arabes
et Francaises, the official added.
Landlocked, war-ravaged South Sudan must pump its oil to the
Red Sea via a pipeline across Sudan to Port Sudan to earn oil
revenues which account for 98 percent of the seven-month-old
The Ratna Shradha is one of at least three tankers forming
part of some $815 million in oil revenues that South Sudan's
President Salva Kiir accused Sudan of "looting" and which the
government in Khartoum said provided compensation for unpaid
It is not yet clear if the other disputed cargoes have been
"The Ministry of Justice has already issued a legal notice
internationally that any oil that is seized by the Republic of
Sudan is stolen property of the Republic of South Sudan,"
government spokesman for South Sudan Barnaba Marial Benjamin
told Reuters by telephone on Monday.
"We are pursuing anybody who has taken our oil, which the
Sudan government is trying to sell," he added.
Sudan has confiscated more than 6 million barrels of South
Sudan's oil since December due to the row over oil transit fees,
a South Sudanese official said last week.
(Reporting by Emma Farge; Additional reporting by Hez Holland
in Juba; Editing by William Hardy)