South Sudan: Investing in the renewal of the region’s largest oil producer

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The oil producer needs a variety of partners and investors stand to gain by entering the market through a licensing round in 2022.

South Sudan, independent for 11 years and an oil producer for more than four decades, has long welcomed international oil companies – both as part of Sudan and as an independent nation. But today, the sector needs a boost in capital and innovation. With the economy based on aid and oil revenues, we believe that energy should play a greater role in advancing South Sudan’s interests, economic growth and job creation. This can only happen if the country expands its pool of global partners.

It was Chevron that made commercial discoveries at the Unity field in 1980, and bp and Shell that refined oil from South Sudan at Port Sudan on the Red Sea coast. American, French and Canadian companies took stakes in oil developments in Sudan before the split, despite the long-running conflict in the south.

South Sudan, as the newest nation in the world over the past decade, has attracted goodwill and investment from partners such as the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Norway, the European Union, China, Japan and others. However, conflict and corruption have eroded trust between Western countries, and US sanctions have played a key role in restricting trade, leaving a limited group of countries and companies to actively participate in the sector.

This lack of options suppresses innovation, competition and the empowerment of local businesses to develop their own energy sector. South Sudan needs more partners, and we see a great future ahead of those willing to fully explore the region’s only mature oil producer – in our view, Africa’s energy gateway. ballast.

THE ROUND OF LICENSES REOPENS THE DOORS

Today, the Ministry of Petroleum of the Republic of South Sudan hopes to reopen the doors to global partners through the country’s first-ever open licensing round, via the fifth edition of the South Sudan Oil & Power (SSOP) (https ://bit.ly/3wZqWXu) in September and during Africa Energy Week (AECWeek.com) in October.

The sector now consists of three producing “joint operating companies” with various holdings consisting mainly of Asian national oil companies – Petronas of Malaysia, CNPC of China and ONGC of India – as well as Nilepet, the national oil company, and two exploration companies. companies: Strategic Fuel Fund (South African public company) and Oranto Petroleum (Nigerian private company).

To accelerate exploration and production, the ministry is marketing 14 exploration licenses to oil and gas companies and inviting them to visit the country, explore its new data facility assets and hold talks on September 13-14 2022 in Juba at the SSOP. an event.

DOING BUSINESS IN SOUTH SUDAN

Currently, a vacuum exists, created by US trade restrictions on technology exports to South Sudanese oil and gas companies and the general reluctance of Western countries to engage with South Sudanese leaders and companies. US sanctions have a much wider impact than their direct objectives, with outside companies perceiving a greater risk in transacting in US dollars and doing business in the country. As a result, the vacuum is growing and South Sudan’s pool of partners is shrinking, despite the fact that the restrictions are selective in their application.

The lack of investment and partnership options also hinders the development of local businesses. Incubating a strong local private sector requires a variety of operators and project managers to tender and invite participation. Access to technology and international capital supports private sector growth. Without a competitive, growth-oriented and diverse group of investors, local empowerment and capacity building are stifled.

Energy Capital & Power (ECP) (https://EnergyCapitalPower.com), in organizing the SSOP conference since 2017, has worked closely with government as well as international and local businesses. We have seen that it is possible to do business in South Sudan and that global companies such as Schlumberger, Stanbic Bank and many others are successful. Investors in the joint operating companies, CNPC, Petronas and ONGC faced lean years during the post-independence civil war and have now reached production in most fields closed since 2013.

It is essential that existing partnerships remain intact and that South Sudan attracts more companies to its high potential acreage. Improving relations between South Sudan and the United States is fundamental, but so is a realistic vision of what can be done in the country today. We see a government motivated to grow the economy, build capacity and create jobs, as well as optimize and develop an established key industry. We urge businesses in the US, Canada, UK, EU, South America and beyond to take another look at South Sudan and understand how they can make business.

GROW WITH EAST AFRICA’S LARGEST OIL PRODUCER

The opportunities are vast in South Sudan. As East Africa’s only major oil producer, South Sudan is way ahead of its neighbours. With 90% of the country’s reserves untapped, the licensing round is an open door to discovering more at very low initial risk. Trade restrictions, security and exposure to other risks must be fully understood and do not apply equally at all levels. We invite IPOs and service providers in particular to register for the SSOP event here (www.SSOP2022.com) and see how they can grow with the country.

ECP stands with any organization that wishes to work with South Sudan for a better and richer future. The more partners South Sudan has and the more varied they are, the faster its potential can be unlocked – and the more growth and profits can be generated for the investing partners.

Join us in Juba on September 13-14 for this in-person event. Online speaking positions and online live streams are available. Contact our sales team at [email protected] to see how you can promote your organization as a sponsor or exhibitor at SSOP 2022.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Energy Capital & Power.

This press release was issued by APO. Content is not vetted by the African Business editorial team and none of the content has been verified or validated by our editorial teams, proofreaders or fact checkers. The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement.

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