Juba and Khartoum Collaborate, Sudanese Workers to Enter South Sudan for First Time

Subsidiaries of Nilepet, South Sudan’s national oil company, and Sudapet, Sudan’s national oil company, have signed a contract to bring oil rigs and workers to South Sudan’s block 3/7 this year. Nile Drilling & Services, the national drilling company of South Sudan and Nilepet subsidiary, will use two workover rigs and a team of rig operators from Sudapet subsidiary National Upstream Solutions.

The agreement marks the first time since the two countries split in 2011 that Sudanese workers have been authorized to work in South Sudan’s oil industry, according to the president of Nile Drilling & Services, Bol Ring Mourwel Kon. Following independence, South Sudan was left with much of the former Sudan’s oil resources, while the north retained critical petroleum infrastructure such as pipelines and two out of three central processing facilities, as well as training facilities and experienced oil industry personnel.

The contract was signed in February 2018, and government agreements have been obtained to allow the import of equipment and personnel across the border from north to south. The two workover rigs and support team are scheduled to arrive in September, with work beginning the following month.

“We really have a unique opportunity to bring two nations together,” said Mr. Mourwel Kon in an interview with Africa Oil & Power. “South Sudan will benefit from capacity building through Sudan, using their facilities and labour to train our own people. By raising our production and exploring new areas in South Sudan, we can bring benefits to Sudan too.”