JUBA – South Sudan’s Minister of Petroleum, Puot Kang Chol, on Thursday, urged oil companies to increase oil production in the country.
Minister Chol made this call during a consultative workshop on Unified Human Resources Policy Manual on Thursday in Juba.
“I think if there is anything that will take our time, our energy and resources in the next minute would be how to increase production in the country,” said Chol.
On 14 January 2021, South Sudan and Sudan reached a deal to increase oil production from 170,000 barrels per day (BPD) to 300,000 BPD within the next three years from 2021.
Last year, President Salva Kiir directed Finance and Petroleum Ministries to dedicate 5,000 barrels of crude oil per day for payment of civil servant salaries.
However, the situation remains the same as the government employees go for about four to six months without pay.
Chol said when oil production increase, it would enable the government to pay the salaries of civil servant.
“I don’t think any of you particularly the Nilepet, police and South Sudanese national staff would say your money has not be increase, you money has been increase but where do we get it from?.”
“We will get it from the same oil we produced, so if we don’t produce more, we will not get anything, we will only end up paying you and the rest of us will not be paid,” Chol added.
He encouraged the oil companies to redouble efforts to increase oil output.
“If you get the little you have, please exert more efforts so that you save others with it when we produce more.”
“The next meeting that I would have, will not be about manual but shall be about how do we increase production to compensate what we are expensing when we are paying salaries, incentive and allowance to the staff.”
In June 2021, Ministry of Petroleum launched the country’s first oil licensing round in which exploration licenses were awarded for Blocks A2, A5, B1, B4 and D2 as part of efforts to explore the almost 90% of oil and gas reserves that remain untapped.
During the first round of three, an initial five blocks were placed on offer in the Muglad Basin with the potential to add up to 100,000 barrels of oil per day (bpd).
The licensing round aims to boost the country’s oil output from between 180,000 and 200,000 bpd in late 2020 and early 2021 to 300,000 bpd by 2023, and then to between 350,000 and 400,000 bpd by 2025.