Harnessing the Contributions of Local Content

AOP talked to Eng. Ramadan Chadar Dhok, Vice President of the Dar Petroleum Operating Company, about operating in South Sudan and the importance of building local content in South Sudan.

A consortium of China National Petroleum Corporation (41 percent), Petronas (40 percent), Nilepet (8 percent), Sinopec (6 percent) and Tri-Ocean Energy (5 percent), Dar Petroleum Operating Company (DPOC) is an exploration and production company based in Juba and operating Blocks 3 and 7 in the Melut Basin. Dar Petroleum is the only oil and gas consortium currently producing oil at any significant volumes in South Sudan. 

DPOC is the only consortium currently producing oil in South Sudan. What strategies has the company employed to maintain operations?

Following South Sudan’s independence, Dar Petroleum Operating Company had to scale back on exploration and drilling projects in an effort to adapt to both internal and external demands facing the industry. Together with our team of experts, the company introduced the Project Diamond Initiative. This initiative was designed to negotiate all service contracts and optimize cost. So far, DPOC has maintained its operations and strengthened its relations with its contractors.

How have you seen the local content capacity in South Sudan evolve in recent years?

Local content is an integral part of the energy sector and the back-bone of the country’s economy. Since the Republic of South Sudan gained its independence in 2011, local companies are becoming involved in highly technical aspects of the oil industry, such as drilling, work-over, and pipeline and facilities construction. As an operating company, DPOC is mindful of the challenges local companies face in penetrating the energy sector. However, it is our priority to invest and harness the contributions of the local content.

In what ways can the local industry be encouraged and promoted by the government and by the private sector?

To promote local content, a pragmatic approach is necessary. Both the government and the private sector must work closely to design a workable objective and regulatory methods, tailored to the specific needs and capabilities of the country.

Once a common framework for boosting local content is identified, the government can ensure that local suppliers receive training on standard contracting and procurement processes, or receive education and training in technical skills.