Juba, South Sudan, War-torn South Sudan, blighted by more than three years civil war on Wednesday began holding two-day Oil and Power Summit 2017 with focus to woo investors to its oil and gas industry.
The conference hosts ministers of oil in the region, and dozens of international gas and oil companies including French Total, Nigerian Oranto Petroleum, Greater Pioneers Oil Company (GPOC), Schlumberger, Tullow Oil together in capital, Juba to forge a common front to tape in new investments.
South Sudan is tackling the chief obstacle to new investment in its oil sector – security – as it aims next year to restore production to the level recorded before war broke out in 2013, the oil minister said on Tuesday.
The country has sub-Saharan Africa’s third-largest reserves and is the only mature oil producer in East Africa. But it is embroiled in a war that has forced a third of its population to flee, creating Africa’s biggest refugee crisis since the Rwandan genocide.
Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth, South Sudan’s petroleum minister said the conference seeks to woo oil investors to invest in vast oil and gas potential.
“The summit seeks to woo oil investors to tape in new opportunities in our oil sectors,” Mr. Gatkuoth told Delegates in capital, Juba.
“There is a decline in oil production, Like we are producing about 130,000 b/d a day,’’ he said.
Also he said, “We want to move quickly to go back to the same production level of 280,000 barrels a day in 2018, this is our priorities, adding this week’s event will seek to assess the opportunities and infrastructure needs of the country’s upstream and other sectors.”
The minister said South Sudan current oil reserve is 3.5 billion barrels and only 30% of the reserve is explore so 70% is unexplored, saying the potential is huge and urged international oil companies and investors to come in.
He said the government is committed to ensuring oil companies are provided with security which is critical to securing investments badly needed to boost production and government revenues.
“ The security of our investors is our priority and the government is working to improve that,” He explained.
South Sudan currently produces some 130,000 b/d oil and ambitious expansion plans. It is not yet a gas producer but has proven reserves of 3 trillion of gas, according to the US Energy Information Administration. Much of the country unexplored.
Guillaume Doane, a CEO of Africa Oil and Power said, “The Oil and Power event is a chance for the country to showcase its great potential.”
“South Sudan is blessed with huge resources and it produces more oil than any country in the region, with this, Africa Oil and Power will help bridge the gap between investors and South Sudan. We help African countries to tell their stories of potentials for Oil and Gas as backbone of their economics, “ Doane said, adding the Africa Oil and Gas will help South Sudan woos potential investors.
South Sudan gained independence in 2011 from Sudan. But two years later, President Kiir accused his sacked deputy Riek Machar of plotting a coup. This triggered brutal armed conflict that, according to aid agencies, has killed tens of thousands and displaced nearly 4 millions to neighboring of Kenya, Sudan and Uganda
South Sudan Oil & Power 2017 is the first energy and infrastructure event in the nation’s history. Malaysian state Petronas and China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) are among the high-profile sponsors of the event.