ADF-15 Replenishment: Donors Commit $7.6bn To Support Africa's Fragile Countries

Donors of the African Development Fund (ADF) on Thursday agreed to commit $7.6 billion to speed up growth in Africa's poorest nations and help lift millions out of poverty.

This fifteenth replenishment of the ADF (ADF-15), up 32% from the previous cycle, sends a strong signal of trust in the Fund, which is the concessional window of the African Development Bank Group.

The Fund comprises 32 contributing states and benefits 37 countries – including those experiencing higher growth rates, headed towards new emerging markets, and fragile states needing special support for basic service delivery. The Fund's resources are replenished every three years.

ADF-15 will support Africa's most vulnerable countries by tackling the root causes of fragility, strengthening resilience, and mainstreaming cross-cutting issues. These include gender, climate change, governance, private sector development, and decent job creation.

"What a great pledge we've achieved with your support... Together we've exceeded the target set for this replenishment. What a great and successful replenishment story that is, "said Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank.

Over the past 45 years, the ADF has played an important role in the development journey of African low-income countries.

In just nine years, the ADF has made a difference and positively impacted the lives of millions by:

  • Improving access to electricity for 10.9 million people;
  • Providing agriculture infrastructure and inputs for 90 million people—including 43 million women;
  • Improving access to markets and connections between countries to 66.6 million people;
  • Contributing to the continent's regional integration agenda by rehabilitating more than 2,300 km of cross-border roads;
  • Improving access to water and sanitation for 35.8 million people.

ADF-15 covers the period 2020-2022 and will build on successes of the fourteenth replenishment by being more selective and focused.

ADF-15 will focus on two Strategic Pillars: quality and sustainable infrastructure aimed at strengthening regional integration; and human governance and institutional capacity development for increased decent job creation and inclusive growth.

In pursuing these strategic priorities, ADF-15 will pay special attention to gender equality, climate change, private sector, and good governance promotion.

In his closing remarks, Patrick Dlamini CEO of the Development Bank of Southern Africa, DBSA, who spoke on behalf of South Africa's Finance minister Tito Mboweni, said the deliberations and outcome demonstrated the confidence member countries place in the African Development Bank Group as "the cornerstone institution underpinning African development."

"There is no better vehicle than the ADF," he said. "Going forward, an ambitious programme of development lies ahead."

ADF-15 will address root causes of vulnerability by systematically applying a fragility lens in all its operations. This will be specifically targeted at regions such as the Sahel, which will see a 23% increase in resources from the ADF over the next period.

ADF-15 comes at a time of tremendous opportunities and challenges for ADF countries and the world.

During the next three years, the Fund will scale up its interventions with bold and profoundly transformative projects such as Desert to Power stretching across the Sahel region. This flagship programme, aims at transforming the Sahel into the world's largest solar production zone with up to 10,000 MW of solar generation capacity and 250 million people connected to electricity.

As part of the initiative, the Yeleen Rural Electrification Project in Burkina Faso is set to provide access to electricity to 150,000 households, while the Djermaya Project in Chad will generate 10% of Chad's power capacity. 

"You will see a new spring in our step...we will be bold and decisive. We will stretch ourselves, and we will do more with your support," Adesina said.

Energy Chamber Calls For Fiscal Reforms, Incentives To Encourage Exploration

In its latest African Energy Outlook 2020, the African Energy Chamber calls for sustained fiscal reforms to attract capital and technology into exploration in the continent.

In 2020, hundreds of blocks and acreages will be up for grab across Africa, from Senegal to Nigeria to Somalia. The competition will be fierce to attract capital from a diversifying basket of explorers now coming from North America, Europe, Russia, China, India, South East Asia and the Middle East.

In 2019, several African countries revised their legal and fiscal framework to incentivize exploration, as new world-class discoveries were yet again made on the continent. With the signing of no less than 9 PSCs in 2019 following the passing of its brand new Hydrocarbons Code, Gabon has shown that investors are ready to keep betting on Africa providing that the right legislation and framework are put in place.

In its Energy Outlook 2020, the Chamber notably stresses investors’ concerns over uncertain fiscal terms in sub-Saharan Africa and calls on governments to find better ways to reconcile their expectations of short-term tax gains with the need for sustainable and long-term investment in exploration.

The importance of increasing exploration efforts cannot be under-estimated in Africa. The continent is the world’s hottest exploration frontier, with several discoveries made over the past few years. The world’s largest discovery this year was made off the coast of Mauritania by Kosmos Energy. It adds up to other large discoveries made this year by Noble Energy in Equatorial Guinea, or the Springfield Group in Ghana for instance.

“2020 needs to be a drilling year,” declared Nj Ayuk, Executive Chairman of the African Energy Chamber and CEO of the Centurion Law Group. “Africa has the highest exploration success rates in the world.

In basins like the MSGBC, international explorers like Kosmos Energy have even had a 100 percent success rate from all their exploratory drilling,” he added.

“It is up to African governments and legislators to provide the right framework to keep attracting these kind of players ready to take risks and bet on our continent’s potential.” Promoting and supporting exploration efforts across the continent is a key goal of the Chamber in 2020, as stated in its latest outlook for the sector.

Market Cooperation Will Unlock Opportunities In Africa's Energy Sector

Africa's energy sector is a catalyst for growth and development across the continent. Industry and investors need to stay abreast of the high-speed advances in the energy landscape.

Last week, the African Energy Chamber (AEC) launched its first annual African Energy Outlook for 2020. The report, compiled to provide key insight on what sub-Saharan Africa's oil and gas industry can expect to see next year, also doubles as an overview of the role the energy sector stands to play in developing competing economies.

Though the continent's oil and gas sector was significantly impacted by the oil price crash, 2019 has proven to be a year of recovery for many African economies. With many continuing works on projects that were previously halted or canceled, some developing new large-scale projects and others working to increase their exploration and production activities; the continent is undoubtedly poised to see accelerated growth in the years to come.

To this, in the African Energy Outlook 2020, the AEC showcases key economies and projects that are set to transform the energy landscape, placing the sector at the center of economic growth. In outlining major projects and economies to look out for in 2020, the Outlook features highlights on announce oil projects in Angola, Ghana, Senegal and Nigeria as well as announced gas projects in Mauritania, Congo Republic, Ethiopia, South Africa, and Cameroon.

In unlocking the next phase of transformation for the sector, the report insists the market access and intra-Africa cooperation will be critical, particularly in oil and gas pipeline and infrastructure projects.

"Market access is increasingly on the agenda of existing and upcoming African producers of oil and gas, with several cross-country oil and natural gas pipelines in the works to unlock billions of dollars," it says. Noting that, "Lessons have to be learned on how to negotiate transnational infrastructure deals and 2020 will show if African nations have learned how to cooperate better for the benefit of all."

"Next year, we need to see continued progress. We all understand what we have on our hands, now we must build environments that will not only attract investors but keep them for the long-term," said NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman of the African Energy chamber. "That is going to be our main challenge, ensuring policy certainty, political stability, favourable environments and matching returns."

Gas Exporting Countries Launch Declaration Of Malabo To Oversee Sustainable Energy Transition

The official Declaration of Malabo was submitted on Friday as the result of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF) 5th Heads of State Summit that sat between 26-29 November in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea. The Declaration outlines the way in which GECF member countries can cooperate to secure a long-term and sustainable energy transition.

Drafted during a week of Ministerial and High-Level Ad Hoc Working Group meetings, the document reaffirms the importance of retaining sovereign rights of member countries over natural gas resources; securing an energy transition and meeting sustainable development goals; attracting investment to gas infrastructure projects; fostering coordination among GECF member countries; and establishing pricing mechanisms, among other key objectives.

“One of the positions of the GECF is to specifically designate the terms and conditions of the contracts between producers and consumers. Our community insists that pricing connected to oil indexation should serve in favor of our member countries,” said H.E. Yury Sentyurin, Secretary General of the GECF. “Producers need to have a reliable flow of revenue to be able to ensure investment. With the connection between pricing and indexation, we try to ensure comfortable conditions for producers to ensure that their projects are implemented.”

The 5th Heads of State Summit represents the first time that the event was held on the African continent, reflecting increased efforts to attract African gas-producing countries to the organization.

“Mozambique and Tanzania have had huge gas discoveries…So many African countries have their own resources and they need to learn to manage them by themselves,” said H.E. Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima, Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons for Equatorial Guinea. “The objective of this summit is to attract more African countries. This increases our numbers. The future is gas.”

The Declaration of Malabo builds on the existing frameworks for cooperation outlined by the declarations of GECF Summits held in Doha, Qatar (2011), Moscow, Russia (2013), Tehran, Iran (2015) and Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia (2017).

Africa To Double Natural Gas Production By 2040

At the opening of the 2nd International Gas Seminar of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF) on Wednesday, global natural gas use was slated to double by 2050; replacing more traditional fossil fuels and facilitating an energy transition towards sustainable development.

According to the GECF’s Global Gas Outlook Model, natural gas will be the only hydrocarbon source to increase its share in the global energy mix, remaining the fastest-growing fossil fuel. GECF member countries currently represent 71% of natural gas reserves, 44% of marketed gas production, 55% of pipeline gas trade and 53% of LNG trade globally.

“Our main message is that natural gas is the destination fuel and will play a central role in energy transitions. We continue and will continue to defend the position of the Forum on benchmark prices, stressing that oil indexation is still the optimum choice for buyers and sellers of gas,” H.E. Yury Sentyurin, Secretary General of the GECF, said during the Seminar on Wednesday.

The African continent is set to increase its presence in the global energy sphere, more than doubling its natural gas production by 2040 and altering the global energy supply mix in the process. Africa will contribute as much as 9.2% to global natural gas production by 2040, resulting in an expansion from 255 bcm to more than 505 bcm and corresponding to a compound average annual growth rate of 3.4%.

“Natural gas will continue to be in demand and will help us meet the objectives of sustainable development and the energy transition for our country, for Africa and for the world,” noted H.E. Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima, Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons of Equatorial Guinea. “We are working on the gradual implementation and exploration of various gas fields. All of the work that we are doing is in line with the policies that the international community is asking us to have for fossil fuels. We want to protect the environment and provide for the needs of remote communities in rural Africa.”

Following the keynote addresses, a panel discussion was held on the geopolitical context of natural gas development, focusing on the necessity of infrastructure, cost competitiveness, environmental sustainability and regional integration in capitalizing on global gas reserves.

"Natural gas is growing to become the fuel of choice globally,” stated H.E. Dr. Seyed Mohammed Hossein Adeli, Head of the Iranian Delegation. “The share of gas in the energy mix used to be 18%. Currently, it is 23% and has the prospect to increase to 26% in the next couple of decades. Gas is replacing coal and oil. Coal represents 26% and will be down to 17-18%. Oil is now dominating at 32% and is going to be down to 25-26%. This goes mostly to gas and renewables.”

AfDB Approves $400m To Support Mozambique’s LNG Ambitions

The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank Group recently approved a long-term Senior Loan of $400 million to support the building of an integrated Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) plant, including a liquifaction facility in Mozambique.

The Mozambique LNG Area 1 Project, ranked Africa’s single largest Foreign Direct Investment to date, comprises a global team of energy developers and operators, led by Total alongside Mitsui, Oil India, ONGC Videsh Limited, Bharat Petroleum, PTT Exploration, as well as Mozambique’s national oil and gas company ENH.

By its approval, the African Development Bank joins a global syndicate of commercial banks, development finance institutions, and export credit agencies, to jointly provide the requisite senior debt financing for the project. Financial close is expected within the first half of 2020.

Commenting on the approval, Bank Group President Akinwumi Adesina said: “Through its participation, the African Development Bank again demonstrates its leading role in supporting Africa’s transformation. The catalytic effect brought about by the Bank is strategically aimed to help transform Mozambique from ‘developing’ to ‘developed’ nation.”

“Working closely with the Government of Mozambique, we can ensure that the local population reaps the benefits from its nascent natural gas value-chain, thus creating growth opportunities and widespread industrialization, while at the same time accelerating regional integration across Southern Africa,” Adesina added.

In June this year, the group of investors reached final investment decision on the project, which carries a price tag in excess of $20 billion, thereby facilitating the initial commercialization of one of the world’s most important gas discoveries in the past two decades.

The LNG liquefaction plant will have a production capacity of 12.88 MTPA. The Project is the first of several LNG trains expected to undergo development in the northern part of the country. Mozambique is expected to become one of the world’s largest LNG exporters and its gas represents an important source of supply diversification, which stands to benefit global energy markets.

Through this approval, the Bank carries a mandate to ensure the project’s adherence to international transparency standards and full compliance with environmental and social requirements, in line with its Integrated Safeguards System.

In addition, the Bank’s participation introduces key social and economic indicators into the loan monitoring, including areas such as job creation, gender empowerment, and linkages for small businesses. With a portion of the gas allocated to the domestic market, the Bank’s focus is on supporting economic diversification and industrialization in both Mozambique and across SADC.

The Bank’s involvement is consistent with its country strategy in Mozambique, which aims to leverage natural resources development to accelerate agricultural transformation and investment in sustainable infrastructure, the Board heard.

The Project also aligns with three of the Bank’s ‘High 5’ Strategic Priorities –(i) Industrialize Africa, through the anticipated industrial activity that domestic gas may generate in Mozambique and the larger Southern Africa region; (ii) Light Up and Power Africa, through the availability of gas to fuel power generation locally and regionally; and (iii) Improving the Quality of Life for the People of Africa, through the creation of thousands of jobs, local SME linkages, and gender empowerment, in addition to the positive impact on macroeconomic stability and the overall regional integration dynamics.

The Project has already signed eight long-term off-take contracts with some of the world’s most prominent LNG players, including Bharat, Centrica, China offshore state-owned oil & gas producer CNOOC, Taiwan’s CPC Corporation, Electricite de France EDF, JERA, Pertamina, Shell, Tohoku Electric, and Tokyo Gas.

Since its first project in 1977 in Mozambique, the Bank Group has regularly provided significant and diversified support to the country’s development efforts, characterized by a well-balanced sector distribution.

Stability Is Key For Supermajor Investment In Africa

Although it may appear that much of the exploration activity in Africa is driven by smaller independents, the supermajors still have a significant role to play. In recognition of the importance of the market these supermajors were all well represented by senior executives at this year’s Africa Oil Week.

The key message they delivered was that they were ready to invest further in the region but were looking for investment opportunities that could offer them assurance in terms of fiscal and political stability.

Searching for stable fiscal regimes

When it comes to success in Africa, Pam Darwin, vice president Africa Exxon Mobil admits that there is no silver bullet, but one thing that is crucial going forwards is access to capital. “Our industry must continue to strive to meet energy demand for reducing environmental impact,” she said. “To do that we face competition for capital. All our efforts take capital and the competition is greater than ever.”

The key she explains is stable and attractive fiscal regimes; where these are present investments are occurring. “There's a clear message from the United States where investment in the shale industry or the shale revolution as they call it has increased dramatically since 2005,” she adds.

“As a consequence, US liquid production has more than doubled over ten years, generating billions of dollars. In contrast, over the last ten years, African liquid production has steadily decreased. In order to tap Africa's immense reserves, commercial terms must be in place to draw those investments.

“Investment also needs to focus on making communities strong, this is really important for us as a company. We fund programmes and training, education, and women's empowerment along with health issues such as malaria. We've invested nearly $4 billion since 2000 in these kinds of programmes, over a billion just in education, and 120 million in women's economic empowerment.”

BP growing on a rich heritage

According to Jasper Peijs, exploration vice president Africa, BP, Africa has been very important to BP and perhaps BP is important to Africa as well. He explains that BP’s current activity and presence is right across the continent of Africa. “We have a strong multi decade positions in Angola, Egypt and Algeria, where we are currently producing 400,000 barrels a day.”

When it comes to a positive environment for investment, Peijs points to Angola as a case in point. “I'm happy to recognise the positive changes the Angolan Government has made,” he says. “They are now incentivising investment again and we as BP have taken notice.

We've extended the licencing for block 15 and 18 and created a joint venture to develop gas fields. But Angola is not alone, you see lots of positive changes across the continent and that is why our investment in Africa is growing. Since 2016, we have delivered seven major projects and eight scheduled to come online by the end of the year.

These are in Algeria, Angola, and Egypt, and the next tranche of major projects have already been sanctioned with the final investment decisions expected soon, one of which is Greater Tortue Ahmeyim in Mauritania and Senegal.”

So why is BP focusing so strongly in Africa? “First, is that Africa provides opportunity for growth,” Peijs adds. “Demand for energy in Africa is well ahead of the world average, populations are growing, economies are advancing, the production of energy is growing even more strongly. Looking ahead the forecast for energy production in Africa is likely to grow by around 60% by 2040, almost twice the global rate.

“The second reason companies invest in Africa is that it provides opportunities for competitive partnerships. Since the oil price crash in 2014, our industry has become much more efficient, much more disciplined, more selective on invested capital. We are all competing on a global scale but in Africa we have found several countries providing conditions for investments.

“And then thirdly, is that Africa provides opportunities for long term; as well as having a growing energy consumption and production, economic development is driving up levels of skills and capabilities across the continents. These are human resources coming together. So, the great untapped potential of Africa in every sense.”

Building on success in Angola

One man new to the challenges of the continent is Mike Sangster, MD Total E&P Nigeria, who has recently taken over the leadership of Total exploration and production in Nigeria. “There are four main technologies that we need to be strong in to succeed – deepwater, LNG, petrochemicals, and lubricants.

Here in Africa, we are very much present with three of those four technologies with deepwater and energy as well as retailer and lubricants on the downstream side. We are the leading integrated major in Africa, we are present in 43 countries across the continent, all the way across the value chain from the upstream, the midstream and downstream

“Almost 20% of our production last year came from it came from Africa, and 16% of our reserves are still in Africa. We are currently investing more than one third of our exploration budget in Africa. We operate 11 FPSOs across the continent. The downstream also is going to come in Africa. We have almost four and a half thousand service stations across all the different countries, and about 18% of market share.”

One of the recent projects that Total sanctioned was the Kaombo Project in Angola, which features two FPSOs each with a capacity of 115,000 barrels a day, one of which started producing in the middle of last year, and the second one began earlier this year. “We are producing close to capacity of 230,000 barrels a day, so it is a major achievement for the company in the country.

“In Angola there are a new wave of developments coming along as well, supported by attractive fiscal terms. In Angola recently we have seen some good initiatives from the government for the industry. And you can see that industry is responding by investing in low-cost, short-cycle projects such as subsea tie backs to existing facilities, and infill drilling.”

Unlocking Africa’s potential

So, what does it take to unlock Africans countries’ economic potential? Colette Hirstius, vice president exploration Middle East & Africa, Shell explains that the industry faces unique challenges and opportunities. “These are often driven by geology, the maturity of the industries and in the case of customer facing businesses, the size and structure of the market,” she explains. “Some of these challenges include the lack of infrastructure, security issues, unstable fiscal and regulatory environments and limited access to energy.”

The answer to this is a long-term vision for each country, and long-term partnerships between the industry and government built on trust and commitment.

“These will be critical elements for success,” she adds. “Shell believes strongly in partnerships and that everyone has their role to play, the role of government is all about creating an enabling environment that encourages the industry to invest. This includes developing and communicating a clear energy strategy.

As well as creating strong, effective, and predictable, regulatory and fiscal regimes along with respecting the sanctity of governance and contracts and providing a secure operating environment. And lastly, embedding transparent and clean business practices. For industry to deliver its part by conducting activities in a sustainable manner, which means being safe and environmentally and socially responsible.

“Companies should build local capabilities and capacity, develop local value chains to maximise competitive opportunities for local economies and, of course, promote innovation and technology. Shell strongly believes that building local capacity and capability is key for helping Africa to achieve its full potential. And it's one of our clear focus areas.”

Oil & Gas: South Sudan, Egypt Sign Landmark Cooperation Agreement

South Sudan and Egypt signed a Memorandum of Understanding regarding cooperation in the field of downstream oil and gas, during the 2019 South Sudan Oil & Power Conference.

As a testimony to South Sudan’s growing attractiveness as an investment destination, South Sudan Oil & Power (SSOP) 2019 was host to delegations and officials from Kenya, Ethiopia, Egypt, Somalia, Norway, United States and South Africa.

During his opening keynote, H.E. Minister of Petroleum of South Sudan, Daniel Awow Chuang, expressed the country’s vision in the oil and gas sector, amid increased production numbers: “The oil production in South Sudan has reached 178 000 barrels per day.

We hope to reach 250 000 barrels per day in the near future. We are successfully reaching target thanks to extensive support from our partners and neighbouring countries”. Minister Chuang emphasized on the importance of its cooperation with Sudan, with whom a historic peace agreement was signed last September.

Several initiatives were highlighted by H.E. Chuang as well as H.E. First Vice President of South Sudan, Taban Deng Gai, showing the country’s efforts to significantly increase oil production.

Last week, Sudd Petroleum Operating Company announced it would resume oil production at the end of the year. With a capacity of 80,000 barrels per day, the oilfields have been shut down since 2016.

South Africa’s Strategic Fuel Fund, which signed an exploration and production sharing agreement in May 2019, announced it would launch an aerial surveying campaign of its block B2 in December.

SSOP 2019 saw the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the South Sudanese government and Egypt’s state oil company Egyptian National Petroleum Corporation (EGPC) regarding regional cooperation in the field of downstream oil and gas.

This comes a few weeks after Egyptian President Al-Sisi called upon Egyptian exploration and production companies to increase participation in African countries and urged service companies to invest in South Sudan.

Egypt boasted strong participation at the event, with several companies and delegations present including the EGPC, Petrojet, Petrogas, Al Khorayef, Drexel Oilfield Equipment, among others.

South Sudan announced it would launch its first-ever licensing round in the first quarter of 2020, putting up 13 onshore blocks for tender. Numerous international exploration and production companies have already demonstrated their interest in South Sudan’s oil and gas potential.

SPOC Prepares To Ramp Up Production In South Sudan's Concession

South Sudan is preparing to restart production in various oil fields, including Block 5A operated by Sudd Petroleum Operating Company. A new discovery in the Dar Petroleum Operating Company-operated Adar field will drive investment into the country.

Juba will host the third edition of South Sudan Oil & Power (SSOP) 2019, produced by Africa Oil & Power and in partnership with the Ministry of Petroleum of South Sudan on October 29-30, 2019 and South Sudan will launch its first ever bidding and licensing round 2020 at SSOP 2019.

Sudd Petroleum Oil Company (SPOC) has proactively started corporate social responsibility activities for local communities surrounding Block 5A in the Tharjath field, which it operates.

The activities precede production resumption, which is expected to restart by the end of the year.

Work includes the provision of treated water supply, as well as the provision of medical supplies, which currently benefits an estimated 5,000 people in the area.

The South Sudanese government has been in talks with SPOC to re-open the block since 2016 by consulting with companies and deploying extra security at the Tharjath field.
The Block – which had a 10% production cap enforced by Sudan – has the potential to produce up to 15,000 barrels per day (bpd), according to an agreement signed between Sudan and South Sudan in 2018.

Block 5A is located in the Muglad-Sudd Rift Basin on the same geological trend as the Greater Nile Oil Project in Sudan. It has a production capacity of 80,000 bpd of high-quality Nile blend.
Production in Block 5A began in 2006 at 40,000 bpd and peaked at 54,000 bpd in 2009. By 2014, however, production was reduced significantly to 4,500 bpd, eventually ceasing entirely.

"SPOC community outreach activities will be further increased moving forward," President of SPOC Eruwan Gerry says.

The potential resumption of Block 5A comes during a time of peace in the country, as H.E. the Minister of Petroleum Awow Daniel Chuang strives to create a conducive environment for investors.

To further attract investment into the country's energy sector, Juba will host the third edition of South Sudan Oil & Power 2019, produced by Africa Oil & Power and in partnership and with the endorsement of the Ministry of Petroleum of South Sudan on October 29-30, 2019 at the Crown Hotel.

South Sudan's petroleum ministry will launch the country's first oil and gas bidding round 2020 at the event, as well as a comprehensive environmental audit, which will be done through an international tender – in line with the country's goal of promoting transparency.

"As we work towards replenishing our [oil] reserves, we want to invite investors to participate in the bidding and licensing round 2020. We [also] intend to announce the tendering round for a comprehensive environmental audit – the first of its kind in South Sudan," H.E. Minister Awow Daniel Chuang stated, adding that South Sudan is focused on addressing environmental challenges – a major concern of its citizens.

"We are going to have a comprehensive environmental audit, which needs to be done through an international tender – in line with our policy of promoting transparency," he said.

The country, meanwhile, made a new oil discovery at the Adar oilfield in Block 3 in August, containing more than 37 million barrels of recoverable oil.

The discovery was made by the Dar Petroleum Operating Company consortium, which is led by China National Petroleum Corporation – a major investor in South Sudan's oil sector.

"The new discovery in the Adar oil field is going to be a game changer because this is the first discovery that we have made since independence, giving hope to investors interested in South Sudan's energy sector. There is still more oil to be discovered," the Minister said.

The Minister also said he believes that the discovery will increase the appetite of international oil investors to enter the country's oil and gas space.

"Whether they can see discoveries today, big or small, it will gear up oil exploration and encourage more investment," he said, adding that the country – which currently transports oil to the Red Sea through Khartoum in Sudan – is also looking for new export opportunities.

"We welcome all international oil players to come to South Sudan and join SSOP 2019 in Juba. The business environment is very conducive as we continue to implement the peace agreement, because peace is going to add a lot of energy to the economic sector of South Sudan. We want to use this forum to teach investors about the business opportunities in oil and gas in South Sudan."

Juba Committed To OPEC & Non-OPEC Declaration Of Cooperation

South Sudan’s Minister of Petroleum, Awow Daniel Chuang, has reaffirmed the country’s continued support of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and non-OPEC Declaration of Cooperation.

In a bid to accelerate the stabilization of the global oil market, the Declaration of Cooperation, initially agreed December 2016 and subsequently extended, stipulates that OPEC-member states, together with 11 non-OPEC oil producing countries, have agreed to voluntary production adjustments of 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) in the interests of producers, consumers, investors and the global economy at large.

“We are committed to upholding the OPEC and non-OPEC Declaration of Cooperation to show solidarity with our oil producing partners, friends and counterparts globally,” the Minister says.

South Sudan’s pre-conflict oil production was 330,000 bpd. Current resumption efforts target 250,000 bpd, an output figure that continues to support the global cuts and stabilize the market. The most recent oil discovery, in the Adar oilfield in Block 3, contains 37 million barrels of recoverable oil.

To further attract investment, the Minister will announce the details of its inaugural licensing round in Juba, in October. The Ministry intends to officially launch the round by the last quarter of 2019 or the first quarter of 2020.

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