India evacuates OVL staff in South Sudan, oilfields shut

New Delhi, Dec 23 : India has evacuated all its employees from South Sudan and shut down oilfields due to the escalating violence in the African nation.

A source here in the state-run explorer Oil and Natural Gas Corp's foreign arm, OVL, told IANS Monday that all the 11 executives working in the Greater Nile Oil Project and Block 5A have been airlifted.

"All the officials have been evacuated in two batches and have arrived in India safely," the source said in condition of anonymity.

"Their last task, before leaving, was to shut down the oilfields," the source added.

Fighting in South Sudan that broke out Dec 15 has already killed around 500 people, including two Indian UN peacekeepers.

Rebel troops loyal to deposed South Sudan Vice President Riek Machar have overrun Unity state which has many oil fields.

OVL has 25 percent stake in the Greater Nile Oil Project, that produces 40,000 barrels of oil per day (bpd), and nearly 25 percent share in Block 5A, churning out 5,000 bpd.

The China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) and Petronas of Malaysia are the other partners in the blocks.

--IANS (Posted on 23-12-2013)

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