South Sudan is preparing to restart production in various oil fields, including Block 5A operated by Sudd Petroleum Operating Company.
Sudd Petroleum Oil Company (SPOC) has proactively started corporate social responsibility activities for local communities surrounding Block 5A in the Tharjath field, which it operates. The activities precede production resumption, which is expected to restart by the end of the year.
Work includes the provision of treated water supply, as well as the provision of medical supplies, which currently benefits an estimated 5,000 people in the area.
The South Sudanese government has been in talks with SPOC to re-open the block since 2016 by consulting with companies and deploying extra security at the Tharjath field. The Block – which had a 10% production cap enforced by Sudan – has the potential to produce up to 15,000 barrels per day (BPD), according to an agreement signed between Sudan and South Sudan in 2018.
Block 5A is located in the Muglad-Sudd Rift Basin on the same geological trend as the Greater Nile Oil Project in Sudan. It has a production capacity of 80,000 BPD of high-quality Nile blend.
Production in Block 5A began in 2006 at 40,000 BPD and peaked at 54,000 BPD in 2009. By 2014, however, production was reduced significantly to 4,500 BPD, eventually ceasing entirely.
“SPOC community outreach activities will be further increased moving forward,” President of SPOC Eruwan Gerry says.
The potential resumption of Block 5A comes during a time of peace in the country, as H.E. the Minister of Petroleum Awow Daniel Chuang strives to create a conducive environment for investors.
To further attract investment into the country’s energy sector, Juba will host the third edition of South Sudan Oil & Power 2019, produced by Africa Oil & Power and in partnership and with the endorsement of the Ministry of Petroleum of South Sudan on October 29-30, 2019 at the Crown Hotel.
South Sudan’s petroleum ministry will launch the country’s first oil and gas bidding round 2020 at the event, as well as a comprehensive environmental audit, which will be done through an international tender – in line with the country’s goal of promoting transparency.
“As we work towards replenishing our [oil] reserves, we want to invite investors to participate in the bidding and licensing round 2020. We [also] intend to announce the tendering round for a comprehensive environmental audit – the first of its kind in South Sudan,” Minister Awow Daniel Chuang stated, adding that South Sudan is focused on addressing environmental challenges – a major concern of its citizens.
“We are going to have a comprehensive environmental audit, which needs to be done through an international tender – in line with our policy of promoting transparency,” he said.
The country, meanwhile, made a new oil discovery at the Adar oilfield in Block 3 in August, containing more than 37 million barrels of recoverable oil.
The discovery was made by the Dar Petroleum Operating Company consortium, which is led by China National Petroleum Corporation – a major investor in South Sudan’s oil sector.
“The new discovery in the Adar oil field is going to be a game-changer because this is the first discovery that we have made since independence, giving hope to investors interested in South Sudan’s energy sector. There is still more oil to be discovered,” the Minister said.
The Minister also said he believes that the discovery will increase the appetite of international oil investors to enter the country’s oil and gas space.
“Whether they can see discoveries today, big or small, it will gear up oil exploration and encourage more investment,” he said, adding that the country – which currently transports oil to the Red Sea through Khartoum in Sudan – is also looking for new export opportunities.
“We welcome all international oil players to come to South Sudan and join SSOP 2019 in Juba. The business environment is very conducive as we continue to implement the peace agreement because peace is going to add a lot of energy to the economic sector of South Sudan. We want to use this forum to teach investors about business opportunities in oil and gas in South Sudan.”