South Sudan has held its first energy conference with an aim to fast track cooperation with Uganda where oil wells are still being developed.
South Sudan, which has been in the oil business for decades, wants to develop more of its infrastructure, joint international ventures and partnerships with its friendly countries to carry out oil business.
In a press release, about 400 delegates including the Vice President, the Minister of Petroleum and five cabinet ministers, the presidents of all South Sudan’s joint operating companies, representatives from international oil companies CNPC, Petronas and Tullow Oil and ministerial delegations from Uganda and Sudan, attended the two-day event.
South Sudan’s first ever energy and infrastructure conference, endorsed by the Ministry of Petroleum and organized by Africa Oil & Power, launched last week and was oversubscribed by 30 percent.
The CEO of Africa Oil and Power, Guillaume Doane, said: “We were blown away by the attendance and by the level of engagement from participants, which we believe reflects new optimism for South Sudan. This is a country with proven below-ground potential and an increasing commitment to resolving above-ground risks. The international investment community is recognizing that the market is ripe for resurgence.”
South Sudan has slipped in production to about 120,000 barrels per day because its two oil fields have been shut down due to insecurity. South Sudan has continued to face insurgencies that have affected production as safety of the oil workers is not guaranteed.
The Minister of Petroleum of South Sudan, Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth, said during the meeting that: “I can’t believe what we have accomplished. With Africa Oil & Power, we have started something big. We need to do this every year.”
The country has a capacity to produce more than twice this amount. Major issues discussed during South Sudan Oil & Power included enhancements to security at northern oilfields, increasing improved and enhanced oil recovery techniques at maturing fields with flagging output and securing financing for power and infrastructure.
During the conference the governments of South Sudan and Sudan met to discuss strengthening oil trade. The governments of Uganda and South Sudan discussed how to upgrade energy infrastructure in the region.