South Sudan’s oil sector pulls in more deals

Tuesday October 18 2022
Oil processing plant

A South Sudanese soldier stands next to the infrastructure of an oil processing facility in Unity State. PHOTO | AFP


South Sudan’s oil and related sectors are still attracting enthusiasts in spite of the publicised problems, including on revenue sharing.

Two weeks after the South Sudan Oil and Power Conference (SSOP) in Juba, firms have been publicising their deals from the forum meant to drive business and investment in the country’s oil production.

Several agreements on financing, oil exploration and production, oil refinery and infrastructural development were inked, according to a prospectus from the petroleum ministry.

In one of the deals the South African Nile Orange Company was offered the Jonglei State oil.

“We believe the project with Strategic Fuel Fund will now move forward as we anticipated for a very long time. We agreed that a team of technical personnel will visit Jonglei State to talk to the people on the ground,” said Petroleum Minister Puot Kang.

However, details of this and other agreements were not made public.


More deals

South Sudan’s Kush Bank signed a deal worth $75 million with AIS Capital Advisors for power distribution and management.

Leonard Mathu, managing director of AIS Capital Advisors, said the agreement will create “a domestic value chain that enables us to control costs, deliver power at stable rates, and without interruption.”

South Sudan is the major oil producer in the East African region but its near-total dependency on the oil has made the resource a curse. Due to fees and obligations owed to oil firms, South Sudan’s 170,000 per barrel production per day means it only earns value worth 50,000 barrels of oil per day, with the rest paying up advance payments or contractual obligations.

Yet critics also charge the revenue that arrives is also stolen. In August, President Salva Kiir fired Central Bank Governor Moses Makur Deng and Finance Minister Agak Acuil over empty coffers.

The South Sudan Oil and Power Conference, in its fifth year, welcomed a larger audience of global and South Sudanese energy professionals and leaders, taking advantage of easier post-pandemic travel.

This year’s event emphasised the important role that energy companies play in ensuring growth of the economy, and personal and professional growth of citizens.