JUBA, Sept. 14 (Xinhua) -- South Sudan said Wednesday that it will offer 14 new oil blocks to investors in a bid to increase production to pre-war levels of 350,000 barrels a day.
Chol Deng Thon Abel, Managing Director of South Sudan's state-owned oil consortium, the Nile Petroleum Corporation Limited (Nilepet), told this to journalists in Juba, the capital of South Sudan, during the closure of the 5th annual oil and power conference.
"We have 14 oil blocks that are not been taken, and we invite international companies that are here to seize the opportunity to apply for these blocks. South Sudan is actually very busy nowadays attracting international companies to come and invest in the oil industry and this conference is a very good platform to exchange ideas with international companies," Thon said.
South Sudan is currently producing 175,000 barrels a day in blocks 1, 2 and 4 and blocks 3 and 7, and block 5A in Unity state.
"We have a lot of countries now saying that we actually need to increase production because there is a huge need for crude because you have the sanctions on Iran, Venezuela and of recent Russia and this is where South Sudan is positioning itself to do production enhancement," Thon said.
Nilepet is among 15 entities sanctioned in 2018 by the U.S. State Department on allegations of funding the conflict that broke out in December 2013. However, Thon disclosed plans by Nilepet to take over blocks 3 and 7 by 2027.
He said the consortium would be operated by Nilepet, South Sudan's Ministry of Petroleum, and the South Sudan National Petroleum and Gas Commission.
"The current Exploration Production Sharing Agreement, especially in blocks 3 and 7 will actually come to an end, and so we are actually approaching financial entities to step in, and also companies with new technologies which can come and help us realize the vision 2027 when Nilepet becomes an operator," Thon said. ■