South Sudan has called off its licence round as a result of the coronavirus, officials have said.
The country had planned to offer 14 northern blocks in a round that was to be launched in the first quarter of this year. It had previously offered blocks to companies through direct negotiations.
South Sudanese Under-secretary in the Ministry of Petroleum Awow Daniel Chuang was reported as telling journalists in Juba that the round had been planned for March.
“But because of the coronavirus we could not even move. We are going to defer it a bit, but the plans are still there for us to attract new investors to South Sudan, especially from the Western world,” the minister said.
In February, the Ministry said they are collecting data to make it easier for investors to invest in the oil sector.
South Sudan is the most oil-dependent nation in the world, with oil accounting for almost all of its exports and around 60 percent of its gross domestic product, according to the World Bank.
“The area we are exploring can only be 10 or 11 percent, but the rest 89 or 90 is unexplored that means we still need a lot of work to be done, and that’s why we are planning to have the licensing round to make sure more oil is explored,” he said.
The minister revealed that since August 2019, South Sudan has made a discovery in the Adar oil field in Block 3, containing more than 37 million barrels of recoverable oil.