South Africa signs for South Sudan oil block after $1 billion plan

South Africa signed a deal on an oil block in South Sudan as part of a $1 billion investment in the country emerging from civil war.

The countries signed an exploration and production sharing agreement for block B2, the second such contract since South Sudan’s independence seven years ago. The deal will help restore oil output to levels of around 350 000 barrels a day, according to South Sudan Oil Minister Ezekiel Gatkuoth.

South Sudan is focusing on increasing crude production by using oil blocks that were halted during its civil war. South Africa in November reached an initial agreement to invest $1 billion in its oil sector. Energy Minister Jeff Radebe said in March the move is part of an effort to secure crude supplies.

Total SA held a license for block B, a 120 000-square kilometer area the size of the US state of Pennsylvania, but ceased activity in 1985, according to the ministry. The government in 2012 split the block into three licenses: B1, B2 and B3.

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