JOCs Drive Growth in South Sudan’s Oil and Gas Sector

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 The opening day of the highly anticipated South Sudan Oil & Power (SSOP) 2021 conference and exhibition on Tuesday comprised a diverse event program with key topics including South Sudan’s increasing investment opportunities, ongoing energy and infrastructure projects and capital raising in a reduced capital expenditure environment. Informative presentations from each of South Sudan’s joint operating companies (JOCs), namely, Dar Petroleum Operating Company (DPOC), Greater Pioneer Operating Company (GPOC), and Sudd Petroleum Operating Company (SPOC) were given during the final session of the first day of the conference. 

Through informative summaries, outlined objectives  and detailed Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programs, the visual presentations offered valuable insight into the various activities undertaken by the JOCs.. The first presentation, led by Dr. Ater Amogpai, Section Head Planning, P&F Department, DPOC, comprised insights into DPOC’s operations in Blocks 3 and 7 in South Sudan. With an Equity Participation comprising 41% by CNPC, 40% Petronas, 8% Nilepet, 6% SINOPEC, and 5% SSTO, DPOC has been an active participant in South Sudan’s oil industry since 2000. In his presentation, Amogpai detailed DPOC’s vision, stating that “DPOC is committed to being the premier petroleum operating company in Africa.” With 52 Oil Gathering Manifolds and four Field Processing Facilities, DPOC is committed to aggressive exploration and early reserve monetization.  

Additionally, Amogpai provided insight into DPOC’s CSR initiatives, emphasizing that the company is committed to supporting local communities. With various community-directed projects such as the development of schools, hospitals, and training facilities, DPOC is working hard to ensure local communities benefit from their operations.  

“We work in an area where land belongs to a community. DPOC is committed to supporting local community development through programs which aim to improve community wellbeing, development, and education. We are working hard to support communities through projects, schools, medical facilities, and farming activities,” stated Dr. Amogpai.  

Thereafter, a presentation by Gieth Abraham Dauson, Acting Planning Manager, GPOC, provided a general overview of GPOC’s activities, including insight into the production sharing agreement established in 1996 for Block 1,2 & 4. By detailing production timelines and changes since 2011, Dauson provided an intrinsic view of GPOC’s activities in South Sudan.  

“By October 2020, GPOC managed to put into production about 100 producing wells. In the same year, we managed to acquire about 117 wells – 7 wells over what we initially projected. In total, for Q1 2020, we exported about 2.8 million barrels, in Q2, 4.9 million barrels, Q3, 4.5 million barrels, Q4, 3.8 million barrels, and Q1 2021, 5.5 million barrels. Since resumption in 2018, cumulative lifting has reached 35.1 million barrels as of Q1 2021, and we are expecting this to reach 40 million barrels by the end of 2021,” stated Dauson.  

Additionally, Dauson provided insight into GPOC’s local content initiatives, emphasizing that the company is prioritizing human development and local participation. According to Dauson, “in terms of human development and training, GPOC has training programs including technical and non-technical programs, done both in-house and abroad.” By encouraging more training programs to take place domestically, GPOC is focusing on increasing local participation in South Sudan’s oil industry. What’s more, Dauson drew attention to GPOC’s CSR programs, identifying four key areas of focus for GPOC which include water, education, health and roads. Through a master plan, implemented in collaboration with the Ministry of Petroleum, GPOC is prioritizing school and hospital developments in order to ensure community benefits.  

Finally, a presentation by SPOC, led by Project Manager Marco James Keueck, provided insight into the resumption of production of  Block 5A. Representing a historic moment in South Sudan’s oil industry, the resumption comprised a key topic of interest and area of focus for SPOC. Keueck identified how local content was a key driver for the resumption, with the utilization of new technologies spurring progress and project success.  

“In the resumption we introduced new technologies, a first for South Sudan, which has helped accelerate a 172 Km export pipeline integrity assessment work. The first technology was the magnetic tomography method pipeline inspection and the second was the adoption of geocell systems for erosion control and soil stabilization,” stated Keueck.  

Despite having achieved the resumption of Block 5A, Keueck noted that SPOC has, and continues to, experience significant challenges including the COVID-19 pandemic, substantial equipment degradation, unknown export pipeline conditions, and supply chain disruptions. However, the operator is fully committed to overcoming these challenges. Additionally, Keueck provided insight into the various CSR initiatives undertaken by the company.  

Emphasizing SPOC’s water treatment project – which includes a river intake station, a water treatment plant, a water testing laboratory and a water distribution system to nearby communities –  Keueck detailed CSR projects regarding medical, education, veterinary and agriculture services, as well as clean water supplies. Lastly, Keueck presented various opportunities for investors. By identifying opportunities within production and operations, HSE & Security, office and base camp supplies, inspection and maintenance, logistics and transportation, and support services, Keueck provided insight into opportunity areas for investors, contractors, and both regional and international stakeholders.  

For more information about South Sudan’s vast investment opportunities, ongoing activities, and proposed strategies for the future, join SSOP 2021’s livestream continuing on Wednesday 30 June.   

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Charné Hollands

Charné Hollands

Charné Hollands is the Deputy Editor at Energy Capital & Power. She holds a Higher Certificate in Professional Photography and Masters in Media Studies from the University of Cape Town. Charné writes content for ECP's website and events as well as co-authored African Energy Chamber: Road to Recovery.

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