South Sudan announced it would launch its first ever licensing round in the first quarter of 2020, putting up 13 onshore blocks for tender. (Image source: Africa Oil & Power Conference)

The country will launch its first-ever licensing agreement in the first quarter of 2020 regarding 13 blocks onshore open for tender; with opening keynotes from first vice-president Taban Deng Gai and Awow Daniel Chuang, minister of petroleum, at the annual conference focused on finance and investment.

As a testimony to South Sudan’s growing attractiveness as an investment destination, South Sudan Oil & Power (SSOP) 2019 was host to delegations and officials from Kenya, Ethiopia, Egypt, Somalia, Norway, United States and South Africa.

During his opening keynote, minister of Petroleum of South Sudan, Daniel Awow Chuang, expressed the country’s vision in the oil and gas sector, amid increased production numbers: “The oil production in South Sudan has reached 178 000 barrels per day. We hope to reach 250 000 barrels per day in the near future. We are successfully reaching target thanks to extensive support from our partners and neighbouring countries.” Minister Chuang emphasised on the importance of its cooperation with Sudan, with whom a historic peace agreement was signed last September.

Several initiatives were highlighted by Chuang as well as first vice-president of South Sudan, Taban Deng Gai, showing the country’s efforts to significantly increase oil production. Last week, Sudd Petroleum Operating Company announced it would resume oil production at the end of the year. With a capacity of 80,000 barrels per day, the oilfields have been shut down since 2016.

South Africa’s Strategic Fuel Fund, which signed an exploration and production sharing agreement in May 2019, announced it would launch an aerial surveying campaign of its block B2 in December.

SSOP 2019 saw the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the South Sudanese government and Egypt’s state oil company Egyptian National Petroleum Corporation (EGPC) regarding regional cooperation in the field of downstream oil and gas. This comes a few weeks after Egyptian President Al-Sisi called upon Egyptian exploration and production companies to increase participation in African countries and urged service companies to invest in South Sudan. Egypt boasted strong participation at the event, with several companies and delegations present including the EGPC, Petrojet, Petrogas, Al Khorayef, Drexel Oilfied Equipment, among others.

South Sudan announced it would launch its first-ever licensing round in the first quarter of 2020, putting up 13 onshore blocks for tender. Numerous international exploration and production companies have already demonstrated their interest in South Sudan’s oil and gas potential.

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