South Sudan offers 5 oil blocks in first oil licensing round

South Sudan said Wednesday it has launched its first oil licensing auction, offering five blocks.

The Ministry of Petroleum said the Oil Licensing Round aims to attract interest from a diverse group of foreign investors.

The available blocks range between 4,000 and 25,000 square km, the ministry said in a statement issued in Juba.

The ministry said it has identified new exploration blocks with potential hydrocarbons and has compiled crucial data to provide to interested investors, operators and counterparties.

The oil companies operating in South Sudan include China National Petroleum Corporation, India’s Oil and Natural Gas Corporation and Malaysia’s PETRONAS.

According to statistics from the ministry, about 90 percent of South Sudan’s oil and gas reserves remain unexplored, providing unprecedented opportunities to international investors.

It said the bidding round is for a number of selected blocks, which will be facilitated and evaluated based on set criteria by the ministry of petroleum.