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South Sudan to take full control of oil sector, says minister

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December 22, 2020 (JUBA) - South Sudan government plans to take full control of its oil sector through establishment of a training facility and controlling data storage, a senior official said Tuesday.

South Sudanese soldiers guard an oil refining facility (AFP)

Speaking during the launch of a Petroleum report in the capital Juba, the country’s Petroleum minister, Puot Kang Chol said the training facility will equip South Sudanese ahead of 2027 when the government plans to phase out foreign investors from its oil sector.

“We are working on establishing a training facility — a petroleum training center for the republic of South Sudan where we will be training young men and young women of the Republic of South Sudan, preparing them to take over from our partners when the time is ripe for us to do so,” he said.

The new facility, according to Chol, will be launched next year.

He further disclosed that the government will soon complete the construction of a data center to manage data on oil operations.

“Our data is managed from Khartoum. With support from our partners, we are now at the last stage of building a data center in the Republic of South Sudan,” stressed Chol, adding “The aim is for us to move our data from Sudan so that we manage it ourselves.”

Oil production is crucial for South Sudan to recover from years of civil war that devastated the economy. However, while the nation is estimated to have the third-biggest reserves of the commodity in sub-Saharan Africa, production of about 170,000 barrels a day is less than half the output before fighting broke out in December 2013.

Last year, South Sudan announced its first oil find after the secession, at 5.3 million barrels of recoverable crude. At the time, its oil production averaged 180,000 bpd, down from 350,000 bpd before secession from Sudan, amid plans to increase crude oil production.

About 90% of South Sudan government’s revenue comes from oil resources, while the rest is collected in form of customs taxes, market taxes, road taxes, income tax, permits, among others.

(ST)

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