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NUPRC to unveil energy development strategy at AEW 2024

The presentation will be led by NUPRC CEO Engr. Gbenga Komolafe among others. (Image source: Energy Capital & Power)

The Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) will showcase its 2024 licensing round at a dedicated “Invest in Nigeria” session at the Invest in African Energy forum in Paris next week 

Responsible for the technical and commercial regulation of upstream petroleum operations in Nigeria, the Commission will unveil its energy development strategy for 2024, including its latest licensing round launched earlier this month. The deadline for the bid round closes on January 2025 and round features 12 oil blocks – along with five deep offshore blocks from last year’s round – and a mix of greenfield, offshore and onshore assets. Nigeria is seeking to attract local and international explorers to its acreage, with a view to increasing its reserve base, maximizing production and boosting energy security.

The presentation will be led by NUPRC CEO Engr. Gbenga Komolafe and Executive Commissioner, Exploration & Acreage Management, Indabawa Bashari Alka, and is part of a broader session promoting Nigeria’s latest energy sector developments. In a bid to attract new investment, the Commission is seeking to establish a business-friendly environment by ensuring regulatory certainty and removing barriers to entry within Nigeria’s upstream industry. The upcoming forum represents a strategic opportunity for investors to participate in Nigeria’s energy revolution, as the country targets up to $7.6 billion in upstream investments to restore production to 2.1 million barrels per day.

“The IAE forum is the premier platform where investors can access Africa’s leading investment opportunities – including licensing rounds and farm-in opportunities – and engage directly with African regulators. Criteria for Nigeria’s latest bid round will be unpacked during the session, along with additional opportunities in oil and gas exploration, LNG, refining and more,” says Sandra Jeque, Event & Project Director at Energy Capital & Power.

South Sudan to leverage SSOP 2024 to invite investors

South Sudan Oil & Power (SSOP) 2024 conference and exhibition will invite investors to explore and engage with opportunities across the upstream, refining, power generation and mining industries to drive projects and maximize oil production. (Image source: African Energy Chamber)

Boasting an estimated 3.5 billion barrels of oil and producing an average of approximately 149,000 barrels per day (bpd) in 2023, South Sudan’s oil sector plays a vital role in the country’s economy. During the forecast period 2022-2027, South Sudan’s oil market is poised to grow at a compound annual rate of 1.5% - rising from 134,000 in 2021 to approximately 160,500 bpd by 2027.
Serving as the sole oil producing nation in East Africa, South Sudan is well-positioned to serve as a facilitator of investment, technology and expertise across the broader regional energy landscape. As such, the country will leverage this year’s South Sudan Oil & Power (SSOP) 2024 conference and exhibition to invite investors to explore and engage with opportunities across the upstream, refining, power generation and mining industries to drive projects and maximize oil production.

Driving Upstream Investment

According to the Ministry of Petroleum – the regulatory body in charge of the country’s oil sector – nearly 90% of South Sudan’s oil and gas reserves remain untapped. As such, through the country’s parastatal Nile Petroleum Corporation (Nilepet), South Sudan aims to attract investment through ongoing or upcoming upstream licensing rounds to boost liquid fuels production for export and for domestic use.

South Sudan launched its first-ever licensing round in 2021, offering five exploration licenses to foreign investors in an attempt to accelerate exploration and production. With a total of 14 available blocks ranging between 4,000 and 25,000km2 in the Muglad Basin, which currently produces approximately 100,000 bpd, the licensing round is set to attract significant investor interest from international companies.

The Muglad Basin produces the highly attractive Nile crude oil blend at Blocks 1, 2A, 2B, 4 and 5A, which boasts medium waxy characteristics that are suitable for refining due to its high fuel and gasoil yields. Meanwhile, South Sudan’s Dar blend, which is a heavy crude oil with a low sulfur content, is produced at Blocks 3 and 7 in the Melut Basin. The country’s third blend, the Fula blend, is a highly acidic crude oil produced at Block 6 in the Muglad Basin, which is processed primarily for domestic use.

Increasing global interest

Major foreign oil companies in South Sudan’s oil sector are based in Asia, with the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), India’s Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) and Malaysia’s Petronas holding large stakes in the country’s petroleum industry.

The leading consortia operating in South Sudan’s oil sector include the Greater Nile Petroleum Operating Company (CNPC, 40%; Petronas, 30%; ONGC, 25%; Nilepet, 5%), the Dar Petroleum Operating Company (CNPC, 41%; Petronas, 40%; Nilepet, 8%; Sinopec, 6%; Tri-Ocean, 5%) and the Sudd Petroleum Operating Company (Petronas, 67.8%; ONGC, 24.2%; Nilepet, 8%).

In February 2024, upstream company Wildcat Petroleum passed a due diligence process in South Sudan, enabling the company to undertake petroleum deals in the country, including large-scale oil production purchases. According to the company’s Chairman Mandhir Singh, Wildcat Petroleum has been invited by the Ministry of Petroleum to visit Juba and enter discussions on current oil production opportunities.

Meanwhile, in June 2023, corporate social investment company the Strategic Fuel Fund (SFF) and Nilepet signed an agreement that will allow South Africa to use South Sudan’s geophysical plans to kick off exploration activities in the highly prospective Block B2 in the Muglad Basin. Under the six-year exploration period, the SFF and Nilepet will launch an aerogravity survey exploration, seismic acquisition and drilling campaign while investing in capacity building initiatives and infrastructure development projects.

Advancing midstream and downstream scope

South Sudan has one operational refinery - the Bentiu Refinery - which is situated in the northwest of the country and capable of producing approximately 7,000 bpd. In an effort to drive the country’s downstream capabilities, Nilepet is calling on investors to secure funding for the construction of an oil refinery in Block 5A. The project has amassed a total investment of $29 million, with the refinery’s estimated initial costs currently standing at $3 billion. Completion of the proposed refinery is expected to double the country’s oil production to 350,000 bpd while catering heavy fuel oil to potential markets in Kenya, Uganda and the Republic of the Congo.

AOW 2024 introduces cross-disciplinary Executive Board by African energy change-makers

Members of the new Executive Advisory Board. (Image source: AOW)

Africa's prominent upstream and energy event, AOW 2024 is set to run from 7-10 October at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) 

Sierra Leone to explore investment opportunities at AEW 2024

Director General of the Petroleum Directorate of Sierra Leone, will showcase investment and partnership opportunities available across the west African country’s upstream sector. (Image source: Adobe Stock)

Foday Mansaray II, Director General of the Petroleum Directorate of Sierra Leone, will speak at the 2024 edition of the African Energy Week (AEW): Invest in African Energy conference that is set to happen in Cape Town from 4-8 November 

PAU's Sectoral Linkages Conference advances Uganda's economic diversification agenda

Bringing together industry captains for a conversation, and benchmarking with countries such as Ghana, Nigeria, Canada and Norway, which have been producing oil, is important. (Image source: Adobe Stock)

The Petroleum Authority of Uganda (PAU) organised the first Sectoral Linkages Conference in Kampala, drawing spotlight on investment opportunities emerging from the interconnections between the oil and gas industry and various economic sectors such as agriculture, education, healthcare, transportation, finance, ICT, and tourism, among others 

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