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South Africa and South Sudan have recently signed a six-year production-sharing $50m oil exploration deal as part of a $1 billion investment in the conflict-torn nation’s struggling oil industry.

The deal:

South Africa and South Sudan will be sharing the Block B2 zone in the East African country. The block will be operated by the state-owned Strategic Fuel Fund (SFF), the Ministry of Petroleum and Nilepet – the national oil company of the Republic of South Sudan. Under this new EPSA which includes a six-year exploration period, the SFF alongside Nilepet, will launch a comprehensive aero gravity survey exploration campaign, seismic acquisition and drilling wells with great prospectivity.

The SFF will also invest in capacity building initiatives, training of South Sudanese citizens, investing in social and community development projects and ensuring local content and women empowerment.

“We are bullish about this strategic and unique opportunity into Block B2 with great petroleum potential. It provides South Africa with a chance to further strengthen its energy security while entering one of the top three most lucrative onshore oil and gas markets in Africa,” said Jeff Radebe, South African Energy Minister. He continues, “South Africa has supported peace and economic development in South Sudan since the country’s independence and this is the continuation of long-term cooperation between both our countries and people. Investment is key to guaranteeing the economic progress of South Sudan”

“The petroleum resources of Block B2 are vast. For South Sudan to reach its target of bringing back production levels of around 350,000 barrels of oil per day (bopd) and beyond, we need committed new entrants like the SFF,” said South Sudan’s Minister of Petroleum, Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth.

“South Sudan has great potential, yet our country remains vastly under-explored, and we believe the entry of new players like the SFF will lead to new world-class discoveries very soon given the aggressive exploration program and great petroleum viability of Block B3. This will support South Sudan’s economic revival and improve trade with other African countries.”

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