By an OGJ Online Correspondent
CALGARY, Aug. 8 -- Talisman Energy Inc. says there was no damage to the Heglig oil field in central Sudan after a Sunday attack by rebels opposed to the Khartoum regime.
The company said production was briefly suspended and then resumed after the attack by a commando unit of the Sudan People's Liberation Army. (SPLA).
A Talisman spokesman said there were no injuries to company or security personnel and no damage to facilities.
He said the Heglig facility is now operating normally and is secure. Talisman is operator and has a 25% interest in the field, which is producing about 225,000 b/d of crude oil. The SPLA has previously attacked a 932-mile pipeline running to tidewater at Port Sudan, but this is the first direct attack on oil field facilities.
The company has been the target of criticism by human rights groups, which say oil revenues flowing to the Khartoum government are being used to support a long-running civil war. Talisman says its operations are beneficial to the people of Sudan and that it has set up medical facilities and other infrastructure.
Other partners in the oil operation are the state oil companies of Sudan, China, and Malaysia.
Canada's Foreign Affairs Department said Canadian officials in Sudan are investigating the incident. There are about 50 Canadian employees of Talisman in Sudan, based at the oil field and in Khartoum.
Foreign Affairs said the attack demonstrates the validity of its warning to all Canadians working in the oil field region to leave, regardless of who employs them.
The US House of Representatives passed a bill in June proposing that oil companies active in Sudan be barred from selling shares or bonds in the US. Talisman says it will abide by US laws and would sell its interest in the Sudan project rather than violate them.