South Sudanese Minister of Petroleum and Mining Stephen Dhieu addressing the oil companies and media in Juba [Gurtong | Waakhe Simon Wudu]
By Waakhe Simon Wudu
JUBA, 18 October 2012 [Gurtong]-The Minister read the order before the oil operating companies and the press at the Ministry Headquarters in Juba.
The ministerial order No. 19/2012 says “the foreign oil companies and pipeline operators operating in the Republic of South Sudan (RSS) are hereby ordered and instructed forthwith to recommence and re-establish the production of crude oil and petroleum operations within the producing blocks1, 2,3,4 and 5A.”
The companies were ordered to resume any and all petroleum operations within the territory that may have been halted as a result of the government’s prior shutdown instruction, and (except for any crude oil now or in the future dedicated or reserved for use, processing or consumption domestically in the Republic of South Sudan) to cause the recommencement of the processing and transportation of such crude oil through the GNPOC and Petrodar Transportation Systems.
Dhieu said that the resumption shall be carried out immediately in accordance with the terms of the Transitional Agreements and the directions and instructions provided by the technical staff of the RSS Ministry of Petroleum and Mining.
He said the companies are urged to act according to the laws of South Sudan that requires protection of the environment and interests of the local communities among other issues.
The order came prior to two days after the South Sudan parliament ratified agreements reached on oil between South Sudan and Sudan last month in Addis Ababa including other post secession matters.
South Sudan shut down her oil production process early this year in January after accusing Khartoum of looting the resource.
The infant nation has no oil refineries and pipelines to enable her finalize all the stages of the oil production and export it to the international market for sales.
The country after seceding away from Sudan last year, decided to take full control of the oil production which was earlier on managed by Khartoum.
After secession, South Sudan broke away with nearly 70 per cent of the oil revenues which used to be managed by the Khartoum government.
Last Friday most of the oil producing companies had said the facilities in the South Sudan oil fields are ready for resumption of production after doing an assessment and the first consignment is expected in three months.
Paul Adong, the Managing Director of NilePet said after a team led by the Petroleum Ministry and accompanied by officials from the Ministries of Interior and Environment took an assessment in the oil fields in the Greater Upper Nile region.
“The field is ready. Most of the equipments are still intake. Definitely according to our engineering analysis the equipments are ready,” he said.
He said that they were looking around forty five days or two months when they will start selling the first consignment.
However, he pointed out that; “the challenge remaining is how we will maintain production."