National, News

South Sudan plans alternative oil pipeline

By Bida Elly David

The Minister of Petroleum, Puot Kang Chol said plans are underway for South Sudan to establish its own oil pipeline following years of dependency on Sudan.

Speaking during the second day of the national economic conference, Mr. Kang said the government faced numerous challenges, including paying a lot of money to Sudan for transporting the country’s crude oil to the international market.

For the stabilization of the economy, the minister said the country needs to embark on much exploration and production.

“We need to construct an available opportunistic pipeline. We have two projects: South Sudan Lamu-Port by Kenya, 2000 kilometers worth $5 billion, and South Sudan by Djibouti Port by June,” Kang said.

He stated that the Djibouti port project was estimated at 1,500 kilometers with a $4 billion establishment cost.

“We are discussing with the companies how to look at the international inflation rate to inform our assessment. Is everything the same? Is there any change before the projects start? he added.

The petroleum minister underscored that the construction of these ports will boost oil production at a high level with less cost compared to Port Sudan.

Kang reiterated the need for the government to consider the labor force and procurement of the necessary items for executing the project.

He echoed that the initiative may need the intervention of partners and well-wishing countries to aid South Sudan in meeting its goal.

According to him, by shifting from high dependence, the country would be able to embark on positive production, where generated revenues would serve the purpose of solving the economic problems.

He further noted that Sudan continues to take from South Sudan 28,000 barrels of crude oil per day, despite the government clearing all outstanding arrears it owed to Sudan.

Puot also warned South Sudan against eyeing the petroleum sector as the only engine for stabilizing the national economy.

He said the country ought to put much focus on improving non-oil revenue, noting that production and extraction of oil may drop or finish completely by 2050.

He said too much dependence on the oil sector will make people forget the benefits of other sectors in economic development.

“We need not focus our attention on the oil sector. We should think of how to generate more revenues from the non-oil sector,” he said.

“Oil may be finished by 2050, and when it is not backed up, the country will face it rough,” he warned.

The minister stated that South Sudan may face serious challenges in case the fuel loses sales on the international market since it has targeted countries as customers.



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