By Foluso Ogunsan, Upstream Correspondent
South Sudan has announced the launch of its first Oil Licensing Round, aiming “to welcome back experienced partners and operators following significant progress in returning to peace and stability”, the country’s Ministry of Petroleum says in a release.
With new data, analysis, and government mechanisms, the Ministry seeks to attract high-quality investors and partners.
“Potential investors are now able to request all relevant information from the Ministry of Petroleum until August 23rd 2021, by expressing their interest and providing contact details online at www.southsudanlicensinground.com”, the statement explains.
“Once the expression of interest process is concluded, the Ministry of Petroleum will host a virtual series of data presentations, followed by an international roadshow”.
There are thirteen open acreages, in the country, out of a total of 21, but this particular round is offering five (5) tracts, namely A2, A5, B1, B4 and D2, with areal sizes ranging between 4,000 and 25,000km2, and most comprising between 15,000 and 20,000 km2. This means there eight (8) “free” acreages, but the Ministry doesn’t say whether these could be negotiated for, even if they are not in the round.
“This bidding round is for a number of selected blocks, which will be facilitated and evaluated based on set criteria by the MoP”, the Ministry says.
South Sudan’s upstream hydrocarbon activity has been dominated by Asian companies, notably China National Petroleum Corporation and Petronas, respectively from China and Malaysia. They produced, in partnership with South Sudan’s government owned Nile Petroleum, about 139,000Barrels of Oil Per Day in 2019, according to the BP Review of Statistics, the industry bible for country-level oil and gas production figures. As these firms themselves are state hydrocarbon companies, South Sudan can certainly do with private and publicly listed companies from the West and the Middle East.
Below are further details from the South Sudan’s Ministry of Petroleum regarding the bid round:
Currently there are three consortiums operating producing blocks in South Sudan, with another four oil exploration companies having acquired production sharing contracts.
1. Producing Blocks:
• Block 3 and 7 – DAR Petroleum Operating Company: China National Petroleum Corporation, Petronas, Nile Petroleum Corporation (8% equity)
• Block 1, 2 & 4 – Greater Pioneer Operating Company: China National Petroleum Corporation, Petronas, Nile Petroleum Corporation (5% equity)
• Block 5A – Sudd Petroleum Operating Company: Petronas, Nile Petroleum Corporation (8% equity)
2. Awarded Exploration Blocks:
• Block B3 – Oranto Petroleum, Nile Petroleum Corporation (10% equity)
• Block 5B – Ascom, Nile Petroleum Corporation (10% equity)
• Block B2- Strategic Fuel Fund, Nile Petroleum Corporation (10% equity)
3. Free Blocks:
• Blocks: A1, A2, A3, A4, A5, A6
• Blocks: B1, B4• Blocks: C1, C2
• Blocks: D1, D2• Blocks: E1, E24.
First Licensing Round:• Blocks A2, A5, B1, B4, D2
Potential investors are now able to request all relevant information from the Ministry of Petroleum until August 23rd 2021, by expressing their interest and providing contact details online at www.southsudanlicensinground.com
They can also contact directly:
For information about data access and purchase:
“After years of instability and conflict, lasting peace is finally gaining a foothold in the country following the establishment of the Transitional Government of National Unity (TGNU) in February 2020, and the follow-up agreement over governance of the country’s states. South Sudan is now firmly back on a positive developmental path and is expected to continue as one of Africa’s fastest-growing countries in the foreseeable future”.