South Sudan seeks to woo investors at oil summit
- Two-day event set to attract investment in oil reserves amid continuing political turmoil in young African nation"

South Sudan, sub-Saharan Africa’s leading oil producer, on Wednesday began hosting a two-day summit in the capital Juba to attract investors to its oil and gas reserves, amid continuing political turmoil.

In his welcoming address to regional oil ministers and dozens of international gas and oil representatives, Petroleum Minister Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth said the summit was called in response to the need to invest in the country’s vast oil potential.

The conference represents South Sudan’s quest for a sustainable platform for global industry players to come to the young nation in the interest of investing in oil, said Gatkuoth.

“We have seen a decline in oil production since war broke out in 2013, and now we are producing about 130,000 barrels a day,’’ he said.

“We want to move quickly to go back to the same production level of 280,000 barrels a day in 2018.”

This event will seek to assess the opportunities and infrastructure needs of the country’s upstream and other sectors, as well as how to finance and develop new projects, and discuss gas monetization and security, he said.

“South Sudan’s current oil reserves are 3.5 billion barrels, with only 30 percent explored so 70 percent is unexplored,” Gatkuoth told would-be investors.

“The potential is huge and we urge international oil companies and investors to come in.”

Be assured that the government is working hard to ensure the security of your oil workers, he said.


-'World-class petroleum'

Vice President James Wani Igga said: “South Sudan has a huge potential in the energy sector and to realize this, global investors must invest and explore the country.”

This country has world-class petroleum and South Sudan wants to make this industry grow to help empower our people, so it called on investors to take this opportunity, and the government is working hard to provide a good investment environment, Wani said.

Guillaume Doane, the CEO of Africa Oil and Power, said: "This energy and infrastructure event truly represents a critical moment in the development of the nation’s oil and gas sector."

“The mission of Africa Oil and Power is to provide a platform for African countries, including South Sudan, to tell their stories of the potential for oil and gas as the backbone of their economies,” Doane said, adding that his firm will help South Sudan woo potential investors.

A civil war in South Sudan continues to rage, casting a shadow over efforts to develop its natural gas potential.

In 2013, two years after gaining independence, President Salva Kiir accused his sacked deputy of plotting a coup. This triggered armed conflict that, according to aid agencies, has killed tens of thousands and displaced nearly 4 million to the neighboring states of Kenya, Sudan, and Uganda.

The oil infrastructure is routinely targeted.

Malaysian state oil producer Petronas and the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) are among the high-profile sponsors of the event.

By Parach Mach in Juba, South Sudan

Anadolu Agency



12 Oct,2017