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South Sudan puts up 14 oil blocs for sale amid dwindling economy

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Amid a dwindling economy and the threat of skyrocketing inflation, South Sudan has put up 14 of its oil blocs for sale in a bid to increase production to pre-war levels of 350,000 barrels a day.

The Managing Director of State-owned oil conglomerate, Nile Petroleum Corporation Limited (Nilepet), Chol Deng Thon Abel, who confirmed the development to journalists in the capital, Juba, on Thursday, said interest in the country’s petroleum industry has been growing from within Africa and abroad.

Much of South Sudan’s oil and gas blocks are yet to be fully explored and resources assessed, stalled by conflict, hence the need to sell them off,” Abel said at the end of the country’s 5th annual oil and power forum.

“We have 14 oil blocks that have not been taken, and we invite international companies that are here to seize the opportunity to apply for these blocks.

“South Sudan is actually very busy nowadays attracting international companies to come and invest in the oil industry, and this conference is a very good platform to exchange ideas with international companies,” the MD added.

Going by the sale plans, Nilepet is to take over blocks 3 and 7 by 2027, while blocks 3 and 7 are to be taken over and operated by Dar Petroleum Operating Company, a consortium owned by Malaysian Petroliam Nasional, China National Petroleum Corporation, China Petrochemical, Nile Petroleum and MOG Energy, when the exploration production sharing agreement expires, Abel said.

South Sudan which has the third largest oil reserves in sub-Saharan Africa estimated at 3.5 billion barrels, has been producing at only 30 per cent capacity following conflicts that have engulfed the country since gaining independence from Sudan in 2002.

According to statistics, the country currently produces 175,000 barrels a day, about a third of the potential 500,000 bpd, in blocks 1, 2 and 4 and blocks 3 and 7, and block 5A in Unity state.

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Petrol prices fall in South Africa, Libya but cost of diesel keeps flying

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Prices of petrol have fallen in South Africa and Libya but such cannot be said of diesel.

The government of government on Monday announced that the petrol pump price would decrease by up to 1.02 Rand a litre but the price of diesel would increase by up to 15 cents a litre from October 5.

In Sudan also, petrol prices seem to be obeying the law of gravity as the energy ministry said in a statement on Tuesday that price had fallen from 700 Sudanese pounds to 522 pounds ($0.9235) per litre.

There has been a fall in global oil prices recently which has caused a fall in domestic inflation to 7.6% in August in South Africa.

The ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine has had its knock-on effects on oil prices globally. Prices of diesel have almost tripled in most African countries.

In Nigeria for instance, industries like aviationtelecom operators have all struggled with the situation which has disrupted business operations.

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Zambia sets for first meeting with creditors amidst growing fiscal challenges

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The finance ministry in Zambia said it is set for its first meeting with its creditors as the South African country struggles to escape its current financial mess.

The finance minister, Situmbeko Musokotwane made the revelation on Monday at a public meeting to discuss the country’s annual budget.

Musokotwane said at a budget speech last week Zambia’s external public debt reached $14.87 billion at the end of June 2022.

“Have we started negotiations with creditors? Not yet but right now we have preparations for the first meeting,” Musokotwane said in response to a question.

Zambia’s creditors are mainly Chinese lenders and bondholders.

The Southern African country that opted to bow out of a $42.5 million Eurobond repayment in 2020,  is seeking $8.4 billion of debt relief from 2022 to 2025.

Zambia is one of the African countries currently facing economic woes. The country has been in negotiation with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for aid amidst the crisis.

The country was struggling with a debt burden of almost $32 billion, around 120% of its gross domestic product.

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