Read about South Sudan’s emerging oil sector and more in the Africa Energy Series Special Report: South Sudan 2020 – the leading investor resource for tracking South Sudan’s current and future movements within the sector. Download the extended report and other AES Special Reports here.
Like most of Sub-Saharan Africa, South Sudan has been relatively spared by the COVID-19 pandemic so far, with the number of infections just below 3,000 (as of November 3, 2020). The economic consequences of the pandemic, however, have had a profound impact on the country as it started to establish the provisions of the peace agreement.
With the national economy dependent almost exclusively on the export of crude oil, the sharp decrease in global oil demand and the following crash in oil prices meant that South Sudan’s access to capital was compromised. The situation was further worsened by the need to divert those funds to fight the spread of the virus.
The virus is also likely to delay the resumption of oil production in blocks 1A, 1B and 5A, and has forced the Minister of Petroleum to delay the bidding round scheduled for March 2020. The first bidding round to take place since the country’s independence comprises 14 oil blocks. It is expected to help accelerate economic recovery, as well as spur the appetite of international oil investors and services companies to enter the country’s oil and gas sector once a new date has been confirmed.