Khartoum — The Sudanese oil minister Awad al-Jaz said today that the country has 762 million barrels of oil reserves as of 2012 and disclosed that his ministry is seeking to boost gas reserves as well.
Addressing the States Council al-Jaz said that 40% of Sudan's lands has been awarded to foreign oil companies for exploration efforts. He pointed out that there are "extensive" procedures for oil exploration all throughout the country.
The oil minister added that there are 10 blocs that will soon be up for bidding after gathering the necessary information needed to make it public.
Sudan has been scrambling to make up for the loss of oil that resulted from the secession of South Sudan which contained 75% of the country's oil reserves.
The East African nation currently produces around 120,000 bpd and hopes to double it in the next few years despite reports saying that fields have reached their maximum capacity.
"[O]wing to waning mature fields (higher quality Nile blend) and other technical production problems, 2012 production is expected to sharply decline by 60 percent to 117 to 120 thousand barrels per day (bpd)," said a report by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) this month.
"Enhanced recovery in existing fields and further exploration will likely help production to increase again starting in 2013, with a peak expected in 2020 at near 240 thousand bpd, before a gradual decline to about 144 thousand bpd begins in 2030".
Al-Jaz said that that his ministry has embarked on building warehouses in the Red Sea to store crude oil and is also looking to grant a French company an exploration license for two blocs (13 & 19) in the Red Sea.
He expressed hope that Sudan could gas reserves to reach 1.5 billion cubic feet and said that studies are underway to repair and develop oil refineries in Al-Obayid and Port Sudan.