Juba, 7 May 2019: Centurion Law Group (“Centurion”), Africa’s leading energy law firm, drafted, negotiated and advised on the Exploration and Production Sharing Agreement (EPSA) for the B2 Block signed this week between South Sudan and South Africa.
This is the second EPSA negotiated by Centurion in South Sudan since the country’s independence. Back in 2017, Centurion had advised and negotiated the EPSA of Oranto Petroleum for Block B3, currently under exploration.
Under the agreement signed on Monday in Juba, South Africa’s state-owned Strategic Fuel Fund (“SFF”) has taken operatorship of the highly-prospective B2 Block with a 90% participating interest while South Sudan’s state-owned company Nilepet is now holding the remaining 10%. Including an exploration period of six years, the agreement will see the SFF conducting a 10,000km2 aero gravity survey across what is believed to be South Sudan’s most promising oil block. The 120,000km2 B Block was split into three in 2012 and is likely to yield world-class discoveries in the near future.
Signed in presence of Hon. Jeff Radebe, Energy Minister of South Africa and Hon. Amb. Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth, Minister of Petroleum of South Sudan, the EPSA demonstrates the success of South Sudan’s reforms to provide an enabling environment for oil investors and will be an additional pillar for the country to build long-lasting peace and prosperity for its people. Production is resuming fast in the country which currently produces 160,000 bopd and targets a production of 270,000 bopd by the end of the year.
Speaking at the ceremony, Hon. Amb. Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth highlighted the role played by Centurion in brokering this landmark deal for both countries, saluting all parties involved for the signing of an all-African deal set to transform South Sudan’s petroleum sector.
“We have believed in South Sudan’s potential from day one and our work on this EPSA highlights the deep expertise that Centurion lawyers and advisors have built on one of Africa’s hottest onshore oil & gas frontier,” declared CEO NJ Ayuk. “As South Sudan boosts exploration and resumes production from its fields, Centurion will continue to advise investors on doing business in the country. The potential for more projects in South Sudan’s upstream sector but also in pipeline and refining infrastructure is considerable and we look forward to keep assisting all committed investors to come and do business in South Sudan.”
“The interest for the acreages of Block B is considerable,” added Centurion’s Senior Associate Zion Adeoye. “We truly believe that further exploration of the Muglad Basin will yield results set to propel South Sudan’s oil industry towards new heights. The strategic importance of this agreement for South Africa’s energy security and South Sudan’s oil sector cannot be under-estimated.”
To advise on this agreement, Centurion mobilized a core team of attorneys and advisors led by CEO NJ Ayuk, including Senior Associate Zion Adeoye, Head of Trade & Commodities Zwelakhe Gila, and Associate Orisetsolaye Popo. The project will lead to investment into domestic capacity building and job creation for South Sudanese and is part of an integrated plan that also comprises the building of a pipeline and a refinery.