Sudan and South Sudan peace agreement attracts oil investor interest

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A new peace agreement signed between Sudan and South Sudan last month to cooperate on capacity building in the oil and gas industry has spurred investor interest in South Sudan

It was reflected by the participation of nearly 400 delegates in the second edition of the three-day 'South Sudan Oil and Power' 2018 conference held 20-22 November. 

The Sudan government was instrumental in supporting South Sudan in the resumption of oil production at Toma South, which had been offline for five years. Oil output levels have risen to 135,000 bpd with an aim to achieve oil production of 350,000 bpd.

The promise of higher oil production and more drilling activity has gained the interest of many investors including state-owned oil companies Petronas, CNPC and ONGC Videsh.

Africa Oil and Power CEO Guillaume Doane said, “South Sudan is on a run, there is no denying that. You can feel the change in the air and that is thanks to the peace agreement and the enabling investment climate that the government has implemented.”

“Even without new exploration, the country has the capacity to become the third largest oil producer in sub-Saharan Africa. With a solid peace deal in place, South Sudan is one of Africa’s most exciting and prospective resource plays,” he added.

The government of South Sudan is keen to increase exploration activity in the country and attract new participants to the market. Russia’s Zarubezhneft has also signed a memorandum of understanding with South Sudan on October to explore four oil blocks.

Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth, the minister of petroleum, told that South Sudan’s proven oil reserves stand at 3.5bn bbl but could be as large as 13bn bbl, according to the Ministry’s technical team.

“We have to think big to be big,” the minister said.

“Drill, drill, drill, that is our message to the investment community because you cannot produce more oil unless you look for more oil. South Sudan has plenty of oil and we now have the enabling environment for companies to find it,” the minister concluded.

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