South Sudan has discovered a new oil well in the Adar area of Northern Upper Nile State that contains 5.3 million barrels of recoverable crude, Petroleum Minister Awow Daniel Chuang said Thursday.
“This is the first of its kind since independence” in 2011, Chuang told reporters in the capital, Juba. “As of now, we are so excited about this.”
The discovery by Dar Petroleum Operating Company is a significant step forward in the exploration and production of crude in the African nation, which is recovering from five years of crisis, he said.
“It’s a new structure in an old concession area, an additional discovery to existing production about 15 kilometers (9 miles) from the Adar oilfield, which means we can start production within a very short time
“It’s a discovery of 37 million barrels, and we are expecting to recover about 20% of that,” he said.
“As we announce this new discovery, it means we should move to do more. We are going to move to other blocks -- B1 and B2 and E1 and E2 -- and all the other areas, including the green areas,” he added.
Turning to the issue of environmental pollution, Chuang said they are planning to carry out an environmental audit to determine the amount of damage in oil producing areas across the country.
“This exercise will be carried out by an international company to give us leeway to correct some of the damage that has occurred as a result of pollution in oil production areas,” he said.
He acknowledged that there is environmental pollution when there is production in the area by the agriculture or oil industry.
“We are now gearing up our efforts to make sure we conduct an environmental audit in order to quantify the damage to the environment. It’s very important to do an analysis. It will reveal the exact extent of the damage within the oil fields.”
He added that oil operations need to be guided based on the results of the audit.
By Benjamin Takpiny in Juba, South Sudan