South Sudan is shopping for new investors in oil exploration as 10 oil blocks still up for grabs. The world youngest nation wants to catch up for the time and revenue lost during the past years of civil war where that country lost an estimated $4 billion of oil proceeds.
According to Minister of Petroleum Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth, addressing media on the sidelines of the Second Africa Oil and Power Conference held in in Juba from November 20-22, South Sudan is shopping for new investor and that it will not turn away any serious investor ‘big or small’. He said that South Sudan is ready to give license to any company as long as it can deliver.
Even as Juba was preparing to host the conference, which attracted nearly 400 oil investors, experts and executives, notably Russian firms have topped the list and want to get licenses to work.
In October 2018, a delegation from South Sudan led by Mr Gatkuoth and other key officials from the government-owned Nile Petroleum Corporation travelled to Russia and they signed a memorandum of understanding with Russian oil company Zarubezhneft to explore some of the blocks open for licensing.
Rosneft, a Moscow-based integrated energy firm that is expected to join in with Juba to develop a geological map of the country’s minerals, according to Nile Petroleum Corporation (Nilepet) managing director Dr Abel Chol Deng.
Central Energy Fund (CEF), a South Africa-based firm is also keen to make a venture into South Sudan where it expected to build a refinery to handle 10,000 barrels of oil per day at Pagak. The firm also to invest an estimated $500 million in an oil pipeline that will link two oil producing blocks.