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oil exploration and production companies

Date Snippet Page
2013/12/15 to 2014/03 Oil production by GPOC and SPOC in Unity State was closed down when the SPLA 4th Division defected to rebels in December 2013 (although the DPOC production in Upper Nile continued). By March 2014 GPOC is sending some staff back, and hopes production may resume in 1-2 months. Snippet
2013/10 The Commissioner of Melut County highlights adverse effects of oil production in his county. He seeks implementation of an environmental and social audit as provided for in the Petroleum Act, with a view to compensation of the affected communities by DPOC (the oil consortium implicated). Snippet
2013/09 Unity State backs plans for the relocation of residents presently living around an oil installation in Rubkotna County. State officials say that GPOC will 'reimburse' those forced to move. Snippet
2012 CNPC's 2012 global report on corporate social responsibility devotes one sentence specifically to South Sudan. 'We worked with the Embassy of China in South Sudan to build two basketball courts for Juba City, and funded two colleague students to study at Suzhou University and China University of Petroleum respectively.' Snippet 1115
2012/11/01 111 South Sudanese embark on a two year course as production operations and technicians, at Petronas' training institute in Malaysia, INSTEP. Snippet
2013/03/01 Joseph Podtung (from Petronas) is appointed President of the Dar Petroleum Operating Company (DPOC) in succession to Sun Xian Sheng. Snippet 1111
2011/11/07 President Kiir orders the transfer of the shares of Sudan's state oil company, Sudapet, to South Sudan's company, Nilepet. The claim of nationalization is backdated to Independence Day (2011/07/09). Snippet 1101
2013/05 The dike to reduce flooding in Bor and Twic East Counties is being repaired by ASCOM, a Moldova-based oil company, which has a production-sharing agreement with South Sudan. Snippet
2012/08 TOTAL supports women’s co-op in Rumbek East, (CRN 25 Aug 2012) Snippet 569
2012/09 NPA is doing natural resource impact monitoring (e.g. in relation to TOTAL) (Miraya 21 Sep 2012) Snippet 566
2012 Diar for Rehabilitation and Development Association identifies and implements community projects funded by TOTAL in Block 3 (Miraya 21 Sept) Snippet 550
Reference Mini-review
Luke Patey, 2014/03/31. India’s Kings of Crude Troubled by Oil Investments in Africa [Article] African Arguments. Accessed online.

Argues that India needs stronger diplomatic involvement in South Sudan in order to protect the commercial interests of ONGC Videsh Ltd. (OVL), whose oil production has been hit by the recent crisis of rebellion.

HSBA, 2014/03/18. The Conflict in Unity State [Article] Human Security Baseline Assessment for Sudan and South Sudan, Small Arms Survey. Accessed online.

1,400-word article narrating the fighting in Unity State associated with the rebellion since December 2013.

John A. Akec, 2012/11. Oil industry labour practices in South Sudan [Report] Academics and Researchers' Forum for Development. Accessed online.

Report in the form of a slide presentation, which opens up an important field of concern. The abuses it finds are not startling, but mean there is plenty of room for improvement both by oil companies and government authorities, particularly regarding the abuse of short-term contracts, poor health-and-safety training, and a lack of systematic monitoring by government labour offices.

GOSS, 2012. The Petroleum Revenue Management Bill, 2012 [Operating document] Ministry of Justice. Accessed online.
Geomedia (Utrecht University) and ECOS, 2007. [Untitled map of oil blocks in Sudan] [Map] European Coalition on Oil in Sudan. Accessed online.

Very clear (though not definitive) map of the blocks, with notes on the concessions as they stood in 2007, (before the independence of South Sudan).


Oil blocks and concession-holding companies


Map of oil concession blocks in South Sudan

Map: Oil concession blocks in South Sudan.

Source: Based on Geomedia and ECOS, 2007.

The Government of South Sudan has made ESPAs (exploration and production sharing agreements) with several oil companies. The primary companies are combined with others in joint operating companies (JOCs). Each JOC is provided with a concession to work in a geographical block or group of blocks.

The map on the right shows the rough location of the blocks. The table below shows the JOC that has the concession for each group of blocks, and the member companies of that JOC.

Blocks Productiveness Joint operating company Primary companies
1, 2, 4 An estimated 120,000 bpd of Nile Blend in 2011, but this includes the share of Sudan, as the blocks straddle the border. As of 2013/08 the border in this area is still contested, which has affected – and may well continue to affect – oil production. In any case, production here seems to be on a declining trend, down from 290,000 bpd in 2004. GPOC (Greater Pioneer Operating Company)
3, 7 An estimated 230,000 bpd of Dar Blend in 2011. DPOC (Dar Petroleum Operating Company)
5A An estimated 15,000 bpd of Nile Blend in 2011. SPOC (Sudd Petroleum Operating Company)
5B Not apparently producing. Exploration and development has been adversely affected by rebellion and violence in Jonglei. ASOC (ASCOM Sudd Operating Company)
A Not apparently producing [None: awaiting licensing]
B1, B2 Not apparently producing [?]
B3, E Not apparently producing [-]
C Not apparently producing [None: awaiting licensing]

Main Sources

For the Productiveness column, the main source is EIA, 2012/03/19.

For the company columns, the main source is the Nilepet website (accessed 2013/08/15). Under the Petroleum Act (2012) it appears that Nilepet is to be reconstituted as the National Petroleum and Gas Company. At the time of writing it is unclear how far this process has progressed, and it is here assumed that NPGC will take over Nilepet's shares in the various JOCs.

Questions to pursue
  • Are the ESPAs available to see? What is in them?
  • What are the relevant corporate policies (environment, labour, CSR etc) of each of the companies?
  • What are the practices of each company in publishing relevant information on the internet?

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