South Sudan on Tuesday invited investors to show interest in 14 blocks newly discovered blocks.

Petroleum minister Daniel Awow Chuang told about 600 prospective investors during the South Sudan Oil and Power conference in Juba that the blocks would be licensed competitively from next year.

“We have demarcated around 14 blocks. We are inviting all investors to have a look at these blocks,” Mr Chuang said.

He said Juba hopes to establish a data room for the blocks in two months, before licensing them on a competitive basis from early 2020.

The government hopes to interest financiers and new investors in the sector especially those with strong linkages to other segments of the economy.

During the two day conference, the government will front resumption of production at key oilfields following a ceasefire and improving business conditions as attractions to investors.

South Sudan currently produces 175,000 barrels per day, about a third of the potential 500, 000 bpd, despite the sector being largely unexplored.

The Oil & Power conference has become a focal selling point for opportunities in South Sudan which is hoping to put years of war behind it with the formation of a transitional government on November 12.

Last year, South Africa and South Sudan signed agreements that would see the former’s Strategic Fuel Fund invest in the latter through the Nile Petroleum company.

Taban Deng, South Sudan First Vice President, said having petroleum infrastructure such as oil refineries in the region would help alleviate the fuel crises in many countries.

Regional oil trade

Mr Taban Deng Gai said building of refineries would help the region save billions of dollars that countries spend on importing refined petroleum products annually.