Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Sudan Tribune

Plural news and views on Sudan

Auctioning and mortgaging South Sudan

A Glance at the oil and gas Sector

By Puok Baluang

To satisfy the greed and political ego of Taban Deng Gai and his poodle in the body of the academic fraudster turned Minister of Petroleum, the duo are on the process of signing an Exploration, Production Share Agreement (EPSA) with a fake company from Nigeria called Oranto Petroleum.

Let it be known to all South Sudanese across the political and tribal divide that the EPSA, if allowed to be signed tomorrow, will mark the beginning of auctioning South Sudan oil and gas assets.

This piece exempts the Ministry of Petroleum staff with the exception of the poodle and academic fraudster in the body of Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth who acts on instructions from Taban Deng Gai, the product of an African slavery motherhood. In fact Taban holds the Petroleum Ministry portfolio and Ezekiel is just an implementing agent. In their report to the Minister, the technical staff in the Ministry of Petroleum clearly stated that Oranto Petroleum lacks both technical and financial capabilities to handle its 90% share but their recommendations were not loud enough because Oranto’s offer may be the best deal for Taban and Ezekiel and South Sudan doesn’t matter at all. Oranto Petroleum has never drilled a single wildcat well in her short history of existence.

Back to the literature, Oranto was introduced to Kiir by the Equatorial-Guinea dictator Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo who has perfected corruption as evident in his legacy. A due diligence will disqualify this rogue company.

Moving on, the Ministry of Petroleum has invited all partners in the exploration sector for discussion this week including Total, Exxon, Tullow and Oranto. As usual, Oranto is mysteriously receiving a VIP treatment to the extent that it is given a place in the high table of legends in the Oil and Gas fraternity. After securing Block B3 in a record short negotiations, the dark powers of the so-called Transitional Government of National Unity (TGONU) further proposed Oranto and Exxon to be part of the concession with Total in block B1 and B2 respectively. Exxon being a professional company with a reputation to protect has declined officially in writing. The Minister has now opted to request Total to take a 50% stake in the concession. Total as a giant in the sector has requested 32% of the concession and farmed in Tullow to be included in the concession.

The humility demonstrated by Total, Exxon and Tullow shows the challenges ahead, let alone the risk of taking too much shares in an oil concession where a reputable company opts to partner with a genocidal regime at the expense of its future and the future of the country and its people.

With all the evidence of incapacity to handle 90% of Block B3 if the EPSA comes into existence, Oranto is obviously arrogant because it will immediately offload the majority of its shares to another party, pay the politicians in transit and smile all the way to the bank.

But what is not said today will be the problem tomorrow. Fellow South Sudanese, your God given wealth is being auctioned and mortgaged in broad daylight.

Only if every South Sudanese operated with the software called nationalism, they will all come out in their numbers to say enough and give Kiir and Taban one-way tickets.

The author can be reached at [email protected]

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