The journalist Julie Flint has challenged reports that indicate that there are anything more than negligable oil deposits in Darfur. Two passages in our book bear upon the topic:

  • Page 56: “Reports indicate that Darfur, along with Kordofan, ‘may be the areas richest in oil in the entire country’; one oil discovery in Darfur in April 2005 ‘effectively doubled’ Sudan’s reserves, and preceded a softening in tone by the Bush administration vis-à-vis Khartoum."
  • Page 272: “[Eric Reeves] is also wrong in asserting that Darfur has no oil–it has been known since 2005 that it does.”

Our sources for these statements are provided in the book. We believe that the evidence of the time was accurately reflected in what we wrote. Time will tell if oil reserves of any significance reside under Darfur. However, in light of Flint’s assertions, it seems appropriate to note that, while there is certainly oil, it appears at this time to be negligible, despite initial assessments of more substantial reserves.

Update (June 7, 2011): An article by Maram Mazen in Bloomberg News late last year bears out our initial assessment of non-trivial oil deposits in Darfur, and reports that they are now coming online. To quote the piece: "Sudan is drilling its first oil well in the western region of Darfur, the site of a seven-year war, as part of its bid to boost output in sub-Saharan Africa’s third-biggest producer of crude, the petroleum minister said." Apparently, the government expects the new Darfur and South Kordofan fields to boost production from 450,000 to 600,000 barrels per day.

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