South Sudan’s Ministry of Petroleum signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Russia-based JSC Zarubezhneft to begin exploring the country’s open acreage and trading, as well as implement enhanced oil recovery technology and other maintenance programs.
The MoU, signed on Monday in Juba by Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth, Minister of Petroleum of the Republic of South Sudan and Dr. Sergey I. Kudryashov, General Director of JSC Zarubezhneft, will be in effect until October 2019.
It also includes the construction of oil and oil products storage and trading networks both for the internal market of South Sudan and for the neighboring countries and assisting South Sudan’s state-owned oil company on stock workover and maintenance efforts on existing wells.
“South Sudan is honored to work with JSC Zarubezhneft, an international expert in upstream project development. South Sudan has great untapped potential, both in terms of unexplored acreage and in enhanced oil recovery at operational fields, and we believe this partnership will be greatly beneficial to the people of the Republic of South Sudan,” said H.E. Ambassador Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth.
JSC Zarubezhneft, a state-owned oil company based in Moscow, specializes in international exploration and production work, especially development and operation.
Under the agreement, Nilepet, South Sudan’s state-owned oil company, will share information on current projects and new projects possible for joint operation. JSC Zarubezhneft will also provide technical assistance on engineering and research and development.
South Sudan has proved reserves of 3.5 billion barrels of oil, with much of the country still unexplored. The government, led by President Salva Kiir, is keen to raise oil production and has been seeking international investors.
Oranto Petroleum signed an Exploration Production Sharing Contract with South Sudan in 2017, the first ESPA signed since South Sudan achieved independence in 2012.