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Talisman Sells Sudan Oil Interests

March 10, 2003

KHARTOUM, Sudan (AP) _ Canada’s Talisman Energy Inc. signed a deal Sunday to sell its oil interests in Sudan for $750 million to ONGC Videsh Ltd., a subsidiary of India’s national oil company.

ONGC Videsh has operations in Russia, Iran and Libya, with annual revenue of $2 billion.

The 25 percent stake in the Greater Nile Oil production and pipeline project was a political headache for Talisman.

Critics, including human rights and religious groups, said revenue from the Sudan project helped finance the nation’s civil war, that began in 1983 and has left more than 2 million people dead through fighting and famine.

``It has been very difficult for us to operate (in Sudan),″ Talisman’s chief executive Jim Buckee said. He said the company would return to Sudan if there is a peace agreement.

In July, both sides to Sudan’s civil signed a protocol providing for the separation of state and religion in southern Sudan, and a referendum on self-determination for the south in six years.

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