The national oil company (NOC) of South Sudan, Nilepet, will be an energy operator by 2027 as part of the company’s growth strategy, stated Stanslaus Tombe, Director General – Upstream of Nilepet, during a panel discussion on the first day of South Sudan Oil & Power (SSOP) 2023 Conference & Exhibition.
During the panel, “African Producers: The Evolving Onshore E&P Environment in Africa and the Middle East,” Tombe stated that Nilepet seeks to play a greater role in the development and maximization of South Sudan’s hydrocarbon resources as part of the firm’s Vision 2027.
According to Tombe, Nilepet plans operate 70% of the country’s total production capacity and fields, with the remaining 30% operated by international firms. He said that this will enable Nilepet to become a competitive international energy player, adding that the NOC is investing heavily in the growth of its nine subsidiaries to be able to achieve the target.
Commenting on the role of the oil and gas industry on the South Sudanese economy, Tombe stated that 90% of the country’s revenue is sourced from the industry, bearing significant impacts on GDP growth and socioeconomic developments in the East African country, with the majority of infrastructure development projects being funded by oil revenues.
Speaking during the panel on the role of NOCs in ensuring the optimization of the oil and gas industry, Marco James Keueck Nyak, Project Manager of Sudd Petroleum Operating Company (SPOC), said that firms need to prioritize bringing in new technologies to address ongoing technical challenges, such as high-water cuts and modernization of aging infrastructure, both of which are disrupting production.
Gbite Falade, CEO and MD of Niger Delta E&P, added that there is a need for NOCs to be selective in the technologies they adopt and to invest in solutions that enable South Sudanese and African oil and gas resources to be exploited, with a view to meeting national and regional energy needs, before prioritizing energy security in international markets.
“We must create infrastructure to keep our energy within,” said Falade. “NOCs should invest in training our people and in tertiary studies with universities on technologies, such as carbon capture, to help with the decarbonization of operations and energy resources.”
Falade reiterated that African NOCs must focus on seeking financial support to fund energy projects from within Africa, as traditional lending institutions diversify their operations.
Expanding on the role of modern technologies in maximizing South Sudan’s oil and gas sector, KB Trivedi, Chief Geoscientist of Strategic Fuel Fund, said that South Africa is playing an important role in helping the country boost operations across the entire value chain through the supply of modern gravity management, geochemical sampling and drilling mechanisms.