South Sudan's Minister of Petroleum Puot Koang Chuol (courtesy)

South Sudan to host int’l energy event

South Sudan’s Ministry of Petroleum has announced that the country is preparing to hold its 6th oil and power exhibition conference this week.

South Sudan’s Ministry of Petroleum has announced that the country is preparing to hold its 6th oil and power exhibition conference this week.

The event aims to attract major global oil and gas companies while showcasing South Sudan’s potential in the petroleum sector.

The South Sudan Oil & Power (SSOP) 2023 conference and exhibition will feature a series of keynote presentations and ministerial addresses by a distinguished lineup of international and national ministers.

The event will take place from 14-15 June in the capital Juba.

Speaking at Freedom Hall to the members of Parliament, Minister Pout Kang Chol expressed that his ministry had received confirmation from several major companies about their intention to participate in this year’s 6th exhibition and conference.

“The Ministry of Petroleum, in collaboration with Nilepet, will host the 6th South Sudan Oil and Power Exhibition and Conference on June 14th and 15th, 2023,” he said. “We expect more than a thousand national and foreign investors, including renowned oil and gas companies such as Chevron, Shell, British Petroleum, and Savannah Energy, to participate in this significant event in our country for the sixth consecutive year.”

Minister Pout emphasized that the noteworthy aspect of this year’s conference is the active participation of major companies, unlike previous years when their involvement was limited due to concerns about the country’s security situation.

“They have informed us that they will send representatives. This is crucial because South Sudan was only admitted to the world body last year in 2022 after a meticulous process of applications and clearances. Hence, these companies are now free to attend,” explained Pout.

According to the minister, companies are encouraged to register for the event. Once registered, they will have the opportunity to showcase their offerings as a means of highlighting the country’s potential. Furthermore, the conference provides an avenue for signing memoranda of understanding with interested companies.

Minister Pout added that South Sudan’s status as the sole crude oil producer in the region will be highlighted to attract foreign investors.

The event will witness the attendance of regional and conventional petroleum ministers, government officials, as well as the Presidents and Chief Executive Officers of OPEC, marking the first time in history for such a gathering.

Minister Pout emphasized that the conference is of great importance as it promotes South Sudan’s potential in the global business arena, thereby boosting the confidence of foreign investors to come and invest in sectors of their interest, such as agriculture, petroleum, and finance.

Gladys Reja, a lecturer of economics at the University of Juba, lauded the Ministry of Petroleum for organizing the forthcoming power and gas exhibition, stating that it provides a platform to showcase the country’s resources to foreign investors.

However, the economic expert urged the ministry to ensure that the impact of this event is felt and visible to the citizens, particularly those in oil-producing states.

“This is a commendable program by the Ministry of Petroleum. It serves as an opportunity to explore the resources and opportunities in South Sudan. Often, training and conferences are conducted across various institutions, but citizens do not benefit from them. Nevertheless, it is crucial to have these conferences,”  she said.

Regarding pollution in the oil fields, Reja urged the government, through the Ministry of Petroleum, to take immediate action to safeguard the lives of citizens in those states.

These concerns arose after members of the Revitalized Transitional National Legislative Assembly (RTNLA) raised issues earlier this month regarding the utilization of the 5 percent share allocated to oil-producing states, calling for accountability among the governors.