A consortium led by China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) has made a 300-million barrel oil discovery in South Sudan.
According to the country’s oil minister Awow Daniel Chuang, the discovery is located in Block 3 in Upper Nile state.
South Sudan is looking at over 300 million of reserves with the hope of more discoveries because there are two more wells that are under review which lies close to the border with Ethiopia.
The discovery is believed to be part of a 50-well drilling campaign instigated by the CNPC-led Dar Petroleum Operating Company this year covering block 3 as well as its adjacent block 7.
The Dar Petroleum consortium includes CNPC 41%, Petronas of Malaysia on 40%, local player Nilepet 8%, China’s Sinopec 6%, and the Cayman Islands incorporated Tri-Ocean Energy on 5%.
The new discovery comes ahead of South Sudan‘s new licensing round to take place in October.
Earlier this year, the South Sudanese government signed an exploration and production sharing agreement with South Africa’s Strategic Fuel Fund for prospective Block B2, with the aim of diversifying the investor base.
An increase in Chinese investments in the upstream sector
There is a surging domestic energy demand, which has led China to diversify its natural resources imports and the upstream footprint of China’s NOCs have increased substantially to nearly 20 African countries.
Chinese National Oil Companies are projected to be the fourth highest capital spending in Africa’s upstream sector behind companies like BP, Royal Dutch Shell, and Eni.
China’s national oil companies intend to position themselves as global players in the international oil market.
With CNPC and Sinopec’s new projects also coming online, the total production in Africa is projected to be between 430,000 and 440,000 barrels of oil equivalent in 2020, accounting 20 percent of overseas volumes.