Talisman endorses Amnesty International recommendations

Talisman Energy Inc., Calgary, has endorsed recommendations in a report by human rights group Amnesty International regarding oil operations and a civil war in Sudan.


CALGARY�Talisman Energy Inc., Calgary, has endorsed recommendations in a report by human rights group Amnesty International regarding oil operations and a civil war in Sudan.

Talisman has a 25% interest in an oil project in Sudan, which is now producing about 180,000 b/d in the Heglig area of southern Sudan.

Critics allege revenues from the project help the Khartoum government fund a long-running civil war against Sudanese in the south (OGJ, Jan. 17, 2000, p. 38). Fighting in the war is nearing the oil field in southern Sudan.

In a letter to Amnesty, Talisman CEO Jim Buckee said the company �fully endorses� recommendations made in the report, called "The Human Price of Oil."

Recommendations include that Talisman: provide human rights training for security personnel at the project, ensure that it does not hire people responsible for previous human rights abuses, ensure it is not involved in the transfer of military equipment or personnel, and discuss with the Khartoum regime conditions for the return of civilians displaced from their homes.

Talisman has also agreed to set up its own human rights monitoring program in Sudan.

The company says its operations in Sudan help the economy and the people and that it has contributed to new infrastructure development. It recently sent medical supplies and nurses to the town of Bentiu, close to the fighting between the government troops and the People�s Liberation Army.

A report by the Canadian government in February was critical of Talisman but stopped short of placing sanctions on the company.

Amnesty said it is satisfied with Talisman�s initial response to its report but expects to see firm action taken. Talisman has been a target over the past year of civil rights groups urging shareholders to sell their shares.

The company�s partners in the Greater Nile Oil Project are the state oil companies of China, Malaysia, and Sudan.

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