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South Sudan targets 200,000 b/d production this year: official

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S&P GLOBAL 28 FEB 2020

28.2.2020 — South Sudan crude production is stuck at 185,000 b/d, hindered by rising water shortages and power rationing, but the country is targeting 200,000 b/d this year as some of these problems are addressed, a petroleum ministry official said Friday.

The country is building a 100 MW power plant near Juba with plans to extend power lines to oil fields once the plant is completed in March, while also providing more water and using improved and enhanced oil recovery techniques to boost production.

“We are targeting reaching and maintaining 200,000 b/d most of this year as we sort out some of those short-comings,” Mayen Wol Jong, undersecretary at the South Sudan Ministry of Petroleum, said in a telephone interview Friday.

Also, South Sudan plans to negotiate with neighbour Sudan to increase restrictions to crude pumped from its newly opened Block 5A stream in Unity State to the latter country.

Due to its heavier characteristics, crude from the block is typically restricted to about 10% of the total throughput of Sudan’s Greater Nile Petroleum Operating Company in order to not degrade oil volumes significantly.

Since 2018 the country has been trying to reopen the destroyed fields in the hope of returning to pre-war levels of production.

Last week South Sudan opposition and former rebel leader, Riek Machar returned to Juba to take up his position as First Vice President and was sworn in as the deputy to President Salva Kiir potentially ending conflict in the country that started in 2013.

South Sudan used to produce 350,000 b/d before the civil war broke out in 2013 but it destroyed most of the oilfields and only Upper Nile states near the border with Sudan remain under production.

The country also will use the opportunity of the new detente reached last week between the opposing sides to launch a energy exploration licensing round in March in a bid to make new discoveries under which around 14 oil blocks will be offered.

The country wants to divert from the traditional way of negotiating contracts on a first-come/first-served basis to open bidding.

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