South Sudan has invited more oil companies to invest in exploration, production and distribution, in line with the country’s plan to double the daily output, China Internet Information Center reported.

Petroleum Minister, Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth, stated to media, after his return from the  Africa Oil and Power Conference 2017 that was held in South Africa , that the oil-rich South Sudan has embarked on negotiating new exploration and production agreements with several companies in a bid to double the country’s current 130,000b/d in 2018, News Xinhuanet said.

He said the government has opened up negotiations with foreign oil companies including the French Total, Tullow Oil and the Kuwait Foreign Petroleum Exploration Company (KUFPEC).

He disclosed that 70% of the country’s oil blocks remain unexplored as such, the government wants oil firms to immediately start discovery.

Gatkuoth pointed out “I can announce today that the oil industry will be shining. We are inviting investors to come and invest in South Sudan, and we are also engaging different oil companies in negotiations in different Blocks and more forward very quickly.”

South Sudan depends on oil revenue for 98% of its budget, but production reduced significantly due to civil war that erupted in December 2013.

The conflict forced most oilfields in the country’s oil-rich northern region to shut down, leading to fall in production to less than 130,000b/d from 350,000b/d in 2011.