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South Sudan and South Africa have inked an exploration and production sharing deal for oil in a sign that South Sudan is well on its way to put its best foot forward in order to attract additional foreign investments in its oil sector.
The deal with South Africa is its second since gaining its hard-fought independence that left
While South Sudan has made strides in recovering since its independence, UN peace-keeping head Jean-Pierre Lacroix said near the end of 2018 that this peace isn’t yet fully sustainable, with reports that clashes are still popping up from time to time.
South Sudan has sub-Saharan Africa’s third-largest crude reserves, estimated at 5 billion barrels of proved crude oil reserves, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).
South Sudan’s oil flows were reportedly uninterrupted by the conflict in its northern neighbor, Sudan, a couple of weeks ago, after its president was overthrown by Sudan’s military. Sudan holds all of the cards to South Sudan’s oil industry, which relies on it completely for moving oil to international markets.
South Sudan expects its oil production to increase to 270,000 barrels per day by the end of this year, from 180,000 bpd now. The planned increase for 2019 is still below its pre-civil-war era of 350,000 bpd.
South Africa and South Sudan were in negotiations in March for a $1 billion refinery in South Sudan.
South Sudan has come under intense scrutiny from the International Monetary Fund in recent months after taking loans from Chinese companies in exchange for oil—oil that it has yet to get out of the ground.
South Sudan is still on the lookout for additional investments in its petroleum industry across the entire value chain as it continues to struggle for peace.
By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com
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Julianne Geiger is a veteran editor, writer and researcher for Oilprice.com, and a member of the Creative Professionals Networking Group.