Project Description

The strategic behaviour of international oil companies in war-torn Sudan was overwhelmingly driven by political pressures from governments. After almost twenty years of operating in Sudan, the American giant Chevron was pushed to withdraw due to deteriorating relations between Washington and Khartoum. The Canadian flagship oil company, Talisman, which helped kick-start oil development after Chevron’s exit also fell victim to Washington’s ire. On the other hand, the European junior oil companies, Lundin and OMV, protected by the European Union’s political standpoint of “constructive engagement” in Sudan, were free to profit. Finally, the eastern parastatals, led by a surging China, eager to capture international energy resources to fuel their budding economies and supported by the plural relationships fostered between their respective governments and the ruling, riverine-elite in Khartoum, tactfully established a dominating presence. While fervent international human rights advocacy alone seemingly drove susceptible western firms out of Sudan, the real power behind corporate movements came from the rules dictated by states.

Read the rest of the article at Third World Quar­terly, Vol­ume 28, Issue 5, July 2007, pp. 997‑1016

Photo credit: ENOUGH Project via photopin cc