Explore the Nation: South Sudan Presents its 2021 Vision with New Exploration Programs and Data Evaluation

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Following the highly anticipated first day of South Sudan Oil & Power (SSOP) 2021, Day two commenced with an opening presentation by Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for the Ministry of Petroleum and Mining, Hon. John Munyes, followed by an address by Hon. Awow Daniel Chuang, Undersecretary for the Ministry of Petroleum of South Sudan, who presented the country’s vision for its petroleum sector in 2021. 

Hon. Munyes began his address by iterating the theme of facilitating a framework for collaboration and cooperation in Africa through the continent’s vast endowment of natural resources, such as hydrocarbons, mineral resources, lumber, and agronomic land, to build African economies. Expressing the importance of working closely to support each other, Munyes elaborated on the collaborative efforts between African nations, highlighting critical investments in the development of infrastructure – specifically mentioning the road from Kenya to Juba that is currently 90% complete – and the integration of Kenya’s Crude Oil Pipeline into the Lamu Port-South Sudan (LAPSSET) Pipeline that unites Ethiopia and South Sudan, allowing the landlocked country to export its oil via the port city of Lamu. He emphasized that investments into these infrastructure projects have been sourced from the country’s own resources and by money generated from its petroleum and energy sector.  

“Kenya supports the theme of this year’s conference of building the nation by raising capital through innovative financing to build critical energy infrastructure projects, which is key to realizing the dream of a prosperous South Sudan,” Hon. Munyes stated.  

He further gave an update on the progress of the Kenyan petroleum sector, which has identified 60 blocks, of which 23 have commenced, with the potential for investment, and highlighted the opportunity for investment in other projects and initiatives, such as their LAPSSET crude oil pipeline, provisional field services, and financial support for the training of locally sourced experts. Munyes announced that Kenya has identified a resource of 80,000-200,000 barrels per day (bpd) that is ready for commercialization, with the cabinet approving the opportunity for investors to participate with the ministry in the production of crude to facilitate the resources necessary for Kenya to invest in itself. 

Speaking under the theme, ‘Explore the Nation’, Hon. Awow Daniel Chuang, Undersecretary for the Ministry of Petroleum of South Sudan, presented the country’s vision for its petroleum sector in 2021 and divulged new exploration programs and data, providing insight into how the use of new technologies will be implemented to explore and produce South Sudan’s vast natural resources, iterating the fact that South Sudan is a conducive environment for businesses to grow. 

He began his presentation with a brief introduction of the South Sudanese oil industry, discussing the legal frameworks and regulations that have been established to promote private sector investment, and by providing a brief report on established, ongoing and future regulations and guidelines set up to guarantee environmental management adherence, local content use, policies on human resources and regulations on refineries and petrochemicals.  

Undersecretary Chuang noted that the country’s current upstream total production stands at approximately 154,000 bpd with total proven reserves of around 1 billion barrels. Current producing blocks in South Sudan include Blocks 3 & 7, each with a production of 103,000 bpd; Blocks 1, 2 & 4, with 48,000 bpd; and finally, Block 5A, which has production capabilities of 3,000 bpd. It was noted that the potential of Block 5A has yet to be fully realized with the capability of reaching up to 10,000 bpd. 

Regarding the downstream and transportation sector, it was noted that South Sudan’s Mini Refinery Project is underway and partially completed in Blocks 1, 2 & 4 and that the country operates two export pipelines that are capable of transporting crude to marine terminals in The Republic of Sudan.  

Speaking on exploration, the Undersecretary highlighted three Committed Exploration Blocks, Blocks 5B, owned by ASCOM; B3, owned by Oranto; and B2, owned by the Strategic Fuel Fund (SFF), as well as highlighting 14 Open Exploration Blocks, Blocks A1, A2, A3, A4, A5, & A6; Blocks B1 & B2; Blocks C1 & C2; Blocks D1 & D2; and Blocks E1 & E2, of which investment in five were made available during the country’s recently conducted licensing round, with the other nine being made available in upcoming licensing rounds. 

Emphasizing the ministry’s commitment to a conscientious vision, Undersecretary Chuang stated, “The vision of South Sudan’s Oil & Gas Industry is to ensure that petroleum activities are managed and developed in a way that contributes fully to economic development and human prosperity, in an ethical, efficient, transparent, accountable manner in accordance to environmental, social and economical sustainability principles,” highlighting that key goals are mitigating impact to the environment, increasing production through acceptable HSE management, the process and interpretation of data acquisition, engineering and construction of oilfield facilities, research and development and committed management of all assets. 

Investment opportunities in South Sudan cover a wide range of sectors, with available investments in open blocks, a 300km pipeline tie-in between Block 5A and Blocks 3 & 7, refinery solutions to provide increased capacity and energy security, environmental mitigation and, finally, investment in services to oil fields, reservoir management, and enhanced technologies.  

Chuang concluded his presentation by illustrating that South Sudan has established a platform that facilitates strong and transparent investments into the country’s oil and gas industry, “Aiming at a brighter future by fostering good governance through transparency, accountability and professionalism.” 

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Matthew Goosen

Matthew Goosen

Matthew Goosen is a Video Editor and Content Writer at Energy Capital & Power. He holds an Honours Degree in Film and Media Studies at the University of Cape Town and is currently undergoing his Masters Degree. Born in Pretoria and raised internationally, he has been living in Cape Town since 2013.

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