South Sudan announced that Blocks B1 and B2 were open for direct negotiation after the failure of talks with Total, Tullow Oil and the Kuwait Foreign Petroleum Exploration Company due to “irreconcilable differences”, Reuters reported.
“We have decided to open opportunities to other potential investors” South Sudan’s Minister of Petroleum, Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth, said in a statement late April, Finance Yahoo reported.
Blocks B1 and B2 used to be part of the 120,000 square kilometer area known as Block B, which was divided into three licenses in 2012 and is considered to be rich in hydrocarbons although only few drilling operations were done there. Land-locked South Sudan, which split from Sudan in 2011 after decades of conflict, has been mired in civil war since President Salva Kiir replaced former vice president Riek Machar in 2013.
The unrest can disturb the plans of the world’s youngest country to more than double crude production to 290,000b/d in the 2017/2018 fiscal year.
China National Petroleum Company (CNPC), Malaysia’s state-run oil and gas firm Petronas and India’s ONGC Videsh are the main oil firms working in South Sudan and were capable of producing around 245,000b/d until fighting started by the end of 2013.