South Sudan’s Ministry of Petroleum has suspended the country’s oil and gas licensing round – which was due to take place in March – as Covid-19 spreads across the African continent.
The delayed oil and gas bidding round, which comprises 14 oil blocks in the northern oil
fields, will be used as a means to 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.
“Right now, we were in the middle of preparing for the first oil and gas licensing round. It
was actually planned to be here by March but because of the coronavirus we could not even
move. We are going to defer it a bit, but the plans are still there for us to attract new
investors to South Sudan especially from the Western world,” Undersecretary in the
Ministry of Petroleum, Awow Daniel Chuang, said.
Oil production in South Sudan has increased to 175,000 barrels a day (bpd), up from less
than 130,000 bpd, due in part to South Sudan’s newly formed unity government, which was
established in February.