South Sudan is on track to becoming a major player in Africa’s oil and gas sector again. Though Africa’s youngest country, South Sudan has long been an oil and gas producer, with oil companies operating under North Sudan before 2011. Production has plunged in recent years, however, as South Sudan has dealt with violence and political instability. But 2017 has seen a resurgence for Africa’s youngest country.
Originally published as part of the Centurion Knowledge Series on December 8, 2017.
Following the success of the first dedicated energy and infrastructure event in South Sudan’s history; the South Sudan Oil & Power Conference, the country seems poised to emerge as a major player in Africa’s oil and gas landscape. According to Andrew Murugu, Head, Stanbic Bank South Sudan; “South Sudan is on track to become Sub Saharan Africa’s third largest oil producer.”
A country with a daily output of 130,000 bpd, but with 3.5 billion barrels of recoverable crude reserves, this resurgence is long overdue, and has been delayed due to economic and security concerns.
This year alone has seen South Sudan take major strides towards re-asserting itself on the continent; with the signing of the first Exploration and Production Sharing Agreement (EPSA); since independence with indigenous Nigerian junior, Oranto Petroleum Limited; repair works been undertaken by Russian company Safinat, in a joint venture with state-owned Nile Petroleum Corporation (NilePet), of the control room of a new refinery in Unity State; the recapture of key oil producing states, and increased security in new blocks that it hopes to license to potential investors for exploration. Plans are also underway for several oil & gas infrastructure facilities to service South Sudan and the surrounding East African region.
There is also a proposed audit of national oil production and other petroleum industry activities. The ministry plans to invite companies to bid on a public tender to perform the audit and produce in order to complete an accurate assessment of oil, condensate, and natural gas reserves and production; report on revenue and investment flows; and make recommendations on the technical, fiscal, and regulatory issues faced by the petroleum industry.
Unlike most oil and gas provinces in Africa, South Sudan presents a fresh outlook to the global oil and gas sector. It is relatively untouched, with a new and vibrant government…