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South Sudan to improve legal framework in oil and gas sector

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July 31, 2019 (JUBA) - The African Development Bank (AfDB), through its African Legal Support Facility and the National Petroleum and Gas Commission (NPGC) of South Sudan, has selected Centurion Law Group(Centurion) to build capacity and improve legal frameworks in South Sudan’s oil and gas sector.

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An oil field in South Sudan’s Unity State. (Photo: UN / Tim McKulka)

Improved legal frameworks, officials said, are expected to enhance the NPGC’s ability to fully exercise its functions as a regulator and a facilitator in the sector as South Sudan works to increase production and attract foreign investment into its oil and gas sector.

“The National Petroleum and Gas Commission is a key institutional pillar of South Sudan’s oil and gas sector. We are delighted to be working with a reputable firm like Centurion to enable our country’s oil industry to meet its obligation to our citizens and investors,” Caesar Oliha Marko, Chairperson of the NPGC said in a statement.

“Building capacity is key to us ensuring that we deliver on the promise of making oil work for everyone in South Sudan,” he added.

The NPGC reportedly provides general policy direction with respect to petroleum resources, acts as a supervisory body in matters relating to petroleum resource management, approves all petroleum agreements on behalf of the government and ensures that they are consistent with the South Sudan Petroleum Act of 2012.

“It is a real honor to have been selected for this project with the Petroleum Commission,” said N.J Ayuk, the CEO of Centurion, adding that local content development and domestic capacity building is at the core of everything Centurion does as a firm.

“We take this project as a unique opportunity to contribute to the development of South Sudan and Africa’s oil industry in general. We are grateful to the African Development Bank and the Republic of South Sudan for entrusting us with this responsibility,” he stressed.

Centurion will, as part of the new arrangement, review South Sudan’s existing legal and fiscal framework and ensure the transfer of skills and knowledge to government representatives and experts.

Last week, South Sudan announced that it is seeking to attract international finance to help develop its oil and gas sector during the upcoming third oil and gas conference in the East African country.

The Petroleum minister, Awow Daniel Chuang said investments are needed to revive redundant projects in the oil and energy sector, which failed to take off largely due to lack of finance and disruption caused by the more than five years of civil war.

South Sudan will host its third annual oil and gas conference in partnership with Africa Oil and Power, focusing on issues like finance, oil field technology and community development from Oct 28-30.

The young nation, which depends on oil production to finance its fiscal budget, is currently struggling to increase oil production, months after the signing of the peace accord in September 2018.

Presently, South Sudan is pumping 175,000 barrels per day of crude oil.

(ST)

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