Gov’t to nationalize oil exploration by 2027

Ceaser Oliha Marko Chairperson Oil and Gas Commission far Left, Petroleum Minister Puot Kang Chol (second left), James Lual Deng Petroleum Committee Chairperson(second right) and Dr. Chol Deng Thon the Managing Director of Nilepet far right featured during a media briefing at the R-TNLA premises after the committee meeting on Tuesday (Photo: Philip Buda ladu)

By Philip Buda Ladu

The Ministry of Petroleum and its partners, Nile Petroleum Corporation (Nile Pet) and the Commission of Oil and Gas are in the eve of nationalizing the exploration of oil and other natural resources in the country.

The Parliamentary Specialized Committee on Petroleum met with the three pillars of the oil sector in the country which included; Ministry of Petroleum, Nile Petroleum Corporation (Nilepet) and the Oil and Gas Commission.

The meeting surrounds the oil exploration, its benefits to the citizens and the environmental concerns that comes as a result of the oil extraction activities.

The discussion also set light on the need for South Sudan to nationalize its oil production in 2027.

The Ministry and its partners met on Tuesday with the Committee on Petroleum in the Revitalized Transitional Assembly (R-TNLA).

In the meeting, they said plans were underway for the government to take over the oil exploration once the current EPSA (Exploration and Production, Sale Agreement) oil extraction agreement elapses in 2027.    

James Lual Deng, the Chairperson of the Committee on Petroleum at the Revitalized Transitional National Legislative Assembly (R-TNLA) in his briefing to the media shortly after the meeting said they had a good meeting with the three pillars of oil production.

He said they discussed a lot of issues concerning the operations of the three institutions and a lot of issues which are related to the oil exploration and how to increase production.  

“We have discussed a lot of issues but mainly we have concentrated on the payments which are supposed to be paid to the government of Sudan under the Transitional Financial Arrangement (TFA) which is 3.028 billion, this money was supposed to be paid during the transitional period but it has continued for South Sudan to be paying and today is a good news we heard that by last January we have completed the payment of the 3.028 to Sudan, not only that we have even a claim of about 76 million we are supposed to claim it back from Sudan,” Lual said.

“The Petroleum Committee and the three pillars of the oil sector also discussed the issue of the Exploration, Production, and Sale Agreement (EPSA) which actually gives the contracts to the foreigners who are making the exploration of the oil and the ESPA is going to end by 2027,” he noted.

“We have put down some strategies, if possible for us as a Country we need not to renew the ESPA but we need to take over this exploration of the oil as South Sudanese from the hands of the foreigners so that we do it by ourselves. We have discussed it and the Ministry of Petroleum and the Nilepet they took it seriously,” Lual stated.

The Minister of Petroleum, Puot Kang Chol in his remarks to the media also affirmed that the payment of the TFA to Sudan was completed since January this year and as a result they have done some reconciliation in February which brought them to 76 million US dollars which South Sudan is claiming from Sudan.

He added that they shall also be dispatching a technical team to the Sudan probably next month to go and do more reconciliation so that they know if there is any that they still owe to Sudan or Sudan owe to them.

Minister Puot also weighed in on the issue of Exploration Production, Sale Agreement (EPSA) saying he thinks it’s very important that South Sudan as a country needs to come up with ways or means on how they should be in a better position comes 2027 when the ESPA contract agreement expires.

“We all agreed that we need to work towards the same as a nation, as pillars of the sector so that we realize the fruits of what we are doing comes the end of EPSA, and that’s what we are looking up to and I believe the meeting of today gave us the opportunity to work together so that we achieve the same goal,” Minister Puot Kang emphasized.

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