The government of South Sudan has initiated talks with India to revive oil blocks closed in the wake of a civil war in 2013, Mining Weekly informed.
South Sudan during initial discussions between the government representatives of the two countries, compensated ONGC Videsh, for the period that the blocks were closed, reported Ecofin Agency. However, Indian government officials stated that major areas regarding current law and order situations in South Sudan as well as the security environment of ONGC’s personnel have not yet been discussed.
At the time that operations were suspended in December 2013, all ONGC personnel were evacuated. Any offer to revive these assets would involve a new security protocol before Indian personnel could be redeployed.
ONGC Videsh holds a 25% equity interest in the Greater Pioneer Operating Company, which produced 37,000b/d and another 25% in Block 5A, which produced 4,600b/d.
The transition government of South Sudan plans to increase oil production to the at least 500,000b/d, level being produced at the time that the country was divided. However, Indian officials have pointed out that any move by ONGC Videsh to resume operations would follow only after a fresh assessment of “ground conditions in and around the oil blocks.”