S. Sudan joins East African countries preparing for Cape Town energy event

S. Sudan joins East African countries preparing for Cape Town energy event
Puot Kang Chol, Minister of Petroleum (photo credit: file/Sheila Ponnie/City Review)

South Sudan, Kenya, Uganda, and Somalia have penned a commitment to lead the showcasing of East Africa’s opportunities and exploration of the oil sector in the African Energy Week scheduled for November 9 to November 12, 2021.

The East African countries communicated this in a joint statement that was shared by the African Energy Chamber on Monday.

It partly read: ‘‘…East Africa represents an incredibly promising hydrocarbon region in Africa, and by coming to Africa’s premier energy event – which is fully endorsed by the South African Government -, the region will both contribute to and drive the conversation on oil and gas exploration in Africa.’’

South Sudan’s Minister of Petroleum Puot Kang Chol will join a contingent of fellow ministers and stakeholders driving the energy sector when the African Energy Week will take place in South Africa’s Cape Town early next month.

Mr. Chol is expected to articulate the progress of the country’s energy sector while spelling out the exploration opportunities for potential investors.

South Sudan praised

South Sudan was praised as the country with the highest and unmatched production capacity in the region, especially after the recent licensing of the 14 blocks that raised the production levels.

‘‘As one of the fastest-growing frontier markets in Africa, with the third-largest oil reserves in sub-Saharan Africa – measured at 3.5 billion barrels – and nearly 90 percent of its reserves untapped, the country holds significant opportunities for global explorers

‘‘By incentivizing exploration with the launch of a 14-block licensing round in early 2021, South Sudan is not only competing with other leading African energy markets but is rapid out-competing them,’’ the statement shared by the chamber reads.

Somalia, another country that is under constant attack by the Islamic militia group the Al-Shabaab, was also signaled for praise. Somalia’s Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Abdireshid Mohamed Ahmed is expected to market the country’s vast energy resources with a focus on launching the licensing bid during the AEW 2021.

‘‘Somalia, with seismic data revealing the potential of billions of barrels of oil and similarly commercial deposits of natural gas, has placed exploration as a top priority for energy sector growth. The country’s relatively unexplored basins prove a captivating destination for global explorers, and Somalia is keen to take advantage of the growing interest by investors,’’ the statement notes of Somalia’s plan for exploration.

 Uganda was described as a ‘‘rapidly becoming an East African hydrocarbon competitor’’ with the chamber’s statement adding that, ‘‘With 6.5 billion barrels of proven crude oil reserves and 0.5 tcf of natural gas, the country is aggressively pursuing sustained energy sector growth with the aim of driving socio-economic development on a regional basis.’’

Kenya on the other hand will be banking on its ‘‘sizeable discoveries made by Tullow Oil in the Lamu Basin and commercial deposits identified in the Lokichar sub-basin – estimated at 4 billion barrels of oil of which 750 million is commercial – which has placed exploration at the forefront of its energy developmental agenda’’.