By Huseyin Erdogan
South Sudan is in preparations to step up security ahead of the country's first energy event, the South Sudan Oil & Power 2017 conference on Oct. 11-12 in the country's capital, Juba, where global energy players are invited to attend.
"South Sudan Oil and Power [conference] is an outstanding opportunity for our country to showcase its incredible potential in both energy and infrastructure," South Sudan's Petroleum Minister Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth told Anadolu Agency.
"We welcome any and all visitors to discover the wealth of natural resources we have and the accommodating investment environment being created by our people," Gatkuoth added.
"Investors are welcome, the environment is conducive for them to come and invest," Gatkuoth had said in June, adding that the country's "rules and regulations are pro-investor."
The country has five blocks which have been explored with proven reserves, but they are not yet developed, Gatkuoth informed.
South Sudan has 3.5 billion barrels of oil reserves and currently produces 130,000 barrels per day
The country secure enough for investments
The minister admitted that South Sudan has faced different challenges since its founding, "It's now time to change our outlook on this issue. The future holds great promise and the government is committed to creating a peaceful, pro-business environment," Gatkuoth said.
South Sudan's development will be based on oil and gas, so the country's duty is to get the wells producing, explore new areas and bring in new business and make sure the people and the petroleum industry are secure from criminal activity, Gatkuoth explained.
"We're already seeing improvements, with the Sudd Petroleum Operating Company preparing to restart operations and the Dar Petroleum Operating Company continuing to produce oil," he added.
Gatkuoth underlined that the government is assigning more resources to protect the oilfield areas and the logistics corridors, "so that we can let the private sector get on with its work. Securing these areas also means peace for the people living there, the ability to bring in food and essential goods, and employment over the longer term."
"In the downstream industry, a more secure environment will positively impact the economy overall and allow us to build a more efficient system that will reduce fuel shortages," Gatkuoth concluded.
South Sudan Oil & Power 2017 is the first energy and infrastructure event in the nation's history and the event will take place on Oct 11-12, when industry experts, government officials and leaders from the private sector will gather.
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