Overview of the South Sudan oil, gas, and energy information

National oil companies (NOCs) based in Asia are the major foreign oil companies in the oil sector in South Sudan

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In South Sudan, two main entities oversee activities in the petroleum sector. The Ministry of Petroleum and Mining is responsible for managing South Sudan’s petroleum sector.

The National Petroleum and Gas Corporation (“NPGC”) is the main policymaking and supervisory body, and it reports directly to the president and national legislative Assembly.

The NPGC participates in all segments of the hydrocarbon sector and approves petroleum agreements on the government’s behalf. The Nile Petroleum Corporation (“Nilepet”) is South Sudan’s national oil company.

Nilepet oversees operations in the petroleum sector, and because of its limited technical expertise and financial resources, it holds minority stakes in production-sharing contracts with foreign oil companies.

South Sudan’s Transitional Constitution, the 2012 Petroleum Act, and the 2013 Petroleum Revenue Management Act define the regulatory framework governing the hydrocarbon sector.

National oil companies (NOCs) based in Asia are the major foreign oil companies in the oil sector in South Sudan. The China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), India’s Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), and Malaysia’s Petronas hold large stakes in the leading consortia operating in South Sudan.

The leading consortia operating in South Sudan are the Greater Nile Petroleum Operating Company, the Dar Petroleum Operating Company, and the Sudd Petroleum Operating Company.

Table 1: Main oil companies in South Sudan

Consortium or subsidiary Company Country of origin Share percentage
Greater Pioneer Operating Company (GPOC)
  • CNPC
  • Petronas
  • ONGC
  • Nilepet
  • China
  • Malaysia
  • India
  • South Sudan
  • 40.0%
  • 30.0%
  • 25.0%
  • 5.0%
Dar Petroleum Operating Company (DPOC)
  • CNPC
  • Petronas
  • Nilepet
  • Sinopec
  • Tri-ocean
  • China
  • Malaysia
  • South Sudan
  • China
  • Egypt
  • 41.0%
  • 40.0%
  • 8.0%
  • 6.0%
  • 5.0%
Sudd Petroleum Operating Company (SPOC)
  • Petronas
  • ONGC
  • Nilepet
  • Malaysia
  • India
  • South Sudan
  • 67.8%
  • 24.2%
  • 8.0%

Petroleum and other liquids Exploration and production

According to the Oil & Gas Journal (OGJ), Sudan and South Sudan collectively held proved oil reserves of 5 billion barrels, as of January 2022.

Most of the crude oil in Sudan and South Sudan is produced in the Muglad Basin and Melut Basin. Sudan and South Sudan produce three different crude oil blends: Dar, Nile, and Fula.

According to the Oil & Gas Journal (OGJ), Sudan and South Sudan collectively held proved oil reserves of 5 billion barrels, as of January 2022

The Dar blend (25.0° API gravity, 0.11 per cent sulfur) is a heavy crude oil with a low sulfur content. It also has a high total acid number (TAN) and corrosive qualities that can make it difficult for refiners to process.

The Dar blend is produced at Blocks 3 and 7 in the Melut Basin, which is controlled by South Sudan. The Nile blend (33.9° API gravity, 0.06 per cent sulfur) is a medium, waxy crude oil produced in the Muglad Basin at Blocks 1, 2A, 2B, 4, and 5A; its crude oil characteristics make it a relatively more attractive blend to refiners because of its high fuel and gasoil yields.

The Fula blend (21.0° API gravity, 0.14 per cent sulfur) is a highly acidic crude oil produced in the Muglad Basin at Block 6 and is processed for domestic use.

South Sudan launched its first-ever licensing round in 2021, offering five exploration licenses, through which the government hopes to attract a diverse group of foreign investors to stimulate upstream investment and increase its crude oil production.

The government was to collect expressions of interest until August 23, 2022, and will likely organize investor events later in the year to provide more data and transparency for the blocks on offer.

During the forecast period of 2022–2027, the South Sudanese oil and gas market is anticipated to grow at a compound annual growth rate of almost 1.5 per cent, rising from 134.7 thousand barrels per day in 2021 to approximately 146.7 thousand barrels per day by 2027. The GDP index for South Sudan decreased by 1.69 per cent in 2020.

The government of the Republic of South Sudan and the government of the Republic of Sudan entered into a number of agreements to cooperate across a range of areas of common interest and committed themselves to implement these agreements, including “The Agreement on Oil and Related Economic Matters(AOREM),” is expected to increase political stability and drive the market. “

It is expected that the market will be driven by the increasing investment during the projected period as a result of greater political stability.

Rachel Atim Louis
Associate at | Website | + posts

Rachel Atim Louis is an Associate at Centurion Law Group, South Sudan Office (https://CenturionLG.com)

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