South Africa to invest $1 billion in South Sudan's oil sector

JUBA (Reuters) - South Africa will invest $1 billion in South Sudan’s oil sector, including in the construction of a refinery, the South African minister for energy and his South Sudanese counterpart for petroleum said on Friday.

South Sudan’s oil industry is dominated by Asian firms including China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), Malaysia’s Petronas and India’s Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC Videsh).

The two ministers signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) which will also involve South Africa taking part in the exploration of several oil blocks, they said.

“When this refinery is complete, it will have the capacity of producing 60,000 barrels of oil per day,” Jeff Radebe, the South African minister said without giving further details.

A source close to the South Sudanese government however told Reuters that “there is no commitment to build a refinery” beyond the MoU calling for collaboration between the two countries to study the possibility of building it.

“What we have signed this morning is the cooperation between our two national oil companies, Nilepet and South Africa Energy Fund then from there the funding will come from Central Energy Fund (CEF) of South Africa,” Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth, the South Sudanese minister said.

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