Khartoum — THE first energy and infrastructure conference in the war-torn South Sudan has exceeded expectations. It brought together 400 delegates including Vice President, James Wani Igga, and ministers of petroleum, energy, trade, roads and environment. "We were blown away by the attendance and by the level of engagement from participants, which we believe reflects new optimism for South Sudan," said Guillaume Doane, Chief Executive Officer of Africa Oil and Power.
He described South Sudan as a country with proven below-ground potential and an increasing commitment to resolving above-ground risks. "The international investment community is recognizing that the market is ripe for resurgence," Doane said. Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth, Minister of Petroleum, expressed "disbelief" at the success of the summit. "I can't believe what we have accomplished. We need to do this every year," he said. China National Petroleum Corporation, Petronas, Tullow Oil and national oil company Nilepet and its international joint ventures supported the event as sponsors. South Sudan has enormous proven onshore oil reserves, but production has slipped to about 120 000 barrels per day as two oilfields have been shut down due to security concerns. The country has a capacity to produce more than twice this amount. A civil war is ravaging the world's newest country after its leaders fell out in 2014 after allegations of a coup.