Juba – The Republic of South Sudan is joining the ranks of countries like Ghana, Angola, Nigeria and Equatorial Guinea in establishing a solid local content framework to build its domestic capacity and provide more opportunities to its citizens, with the Minister of Petroleum of the Republic of South Sudan, H.E. Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth, launching a technical session on local content last week, and announcing plans to release a local content regulatory framework within 60 days.
The technical session, guided by Centurion Law Group, brought together key stakeholders in the Republic of South Sudan oil and gas sector — including the state-owned oil company, Nilepet; current investors and international oil companies; and local companies and South Sudanese nationals — to analyze current local content policy and discuss improvements to the local content regulation.
“The Republic of South Sudan’s oil and gas industry is growing at an unprecedented rate, with a new exploration production contract signed last year and production activity set to resume at two of our production fields. It is crucial that we implement a fair, balanced local content policy to guide the development of our industry and ensure the natural resources of the country directly benefit the people of the Republic of South Sudan,” said Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth. “It is also critical for the continued development of our nation’s economy that the oil and gas industry remains an attractive investment spot for the international community. We must strike a balance on local content, and this technical team is an important step in ensuring that we reach that balance.”
- Minister for Petroleum is expected to release new local content regulations “South Sudan Economic Empowerment” or SSEE within 60 days
- Technical team drafts local content resolution and forms local content committee
- Centurion Law Group, a pan-African law firm, advised the Republic of South Sudan on the new guidelines
Led by Mr. Mayen Wol Jong, the Undersecretary to the Ministry of Petroleum, the technical team spent three days in Juba analyzing policy options, and developed a resolution on the country’s local content strategy. The Minister plans to use the resolution to draft the final local content regulatory framework and formed a Local Content Committee following the conclusion of the technical session.
Centurion Law Group, a key player in the development of the strong local content regulations implemented in African countries, is advising the Ministry on the new regulations.
“We have decades of experience with international oil companies operating in Africa, and from that we know international companies won’t invest in local capacity and domestic communities unless it is required. Establishing national content requirements and creating an effective enforcement mechanism is the best way to ensure the Republic of South Sudan’s natural resources benefit the citizens and grow the economy,” said NJ Ayuk, CEO of Centurion Law Group.
The technical committee also included local content trailblazers from other countries, including Hon. Eric Williams, former Minister for Energy in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago and president of Royal Triangle Energy Solutions, and Oscar Berniko, former Director of National Content at the Ministry of Mines and Hydrocarbons of Equatorial Guinea.