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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 16 December 2018

South Africa plans $1bn investment in South Sudan oil industry

South Sudan currently produces around 155,000 bpd

South Sudan's petroleum minister Ezekiel Gatkuoth welcomes potential investors during the second Africa Oil and Power conference in Juba. AP 
South Sudan's petroleum minister Ezekiel Gatkuoth welcomes potential investors during the second Africa Oil and Power conference in Juba. AP 

South Africa and South Sudan have signed an outline agreement that could see Pretoria invest around $1 billion in South Sudan's struggling oil industry.

The agreement, which will be subject to detailed negotiations between the countries, was made between two state-owned companies, South Africa's Central Energy Fund and South Sudan's Nile Petroleum Corporation.

South Sudan's oil minister Ezekiel Gatkuoth said the investment will go into building a refinery and pipelines as well as oil exploration and training of workers and engineers.

South Sudan currently produces around 155,000 barrels per day (bpd), less than half of what production was at the start of the latest civil war in December 2013.

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The country does not have its own refinery, so it currently sends crude by pipeline across the northern border to Sudan for processing and export, and imports refined fuels.

"When this refinery is complete it will have a capacity of producing 60,000 bpd," said South Africa's energy minister Jeff Radebe.

"The whole project, the block exploration together with the refinery, the pipelines, we are looking an investment of more than $1bn," said Mr Radebe.

The agreement between the two countries was inked on Friday and it came a day after South Sudan hosted a three day oil and power conference in Juba aimed at attracting investors.

The country's warring parties in September signed a new peace deal to end five years of civil war that has killed an estimated 380,000 people and crippled the oil industry, which funded about 98 per cent of its budget.