South Africa and South Sudan signed a framework agreement on Friday calling on Pretoria to invest about $ 1 billion (€ 880 million) in the turbulent oil industry of the youngest country in the world.
Negotiations will be held to define the exact framework of this agreement, concluded between the two state-owned companies, the Central Energy Fund of South Africa and the South Nidan Petroleum Corporation.
South Sudan's Oil Minister Yechezkel Loul Gattak said the funds would be used to build a refinery and oil pipelines, oil exploration and training of workers and engineers.
"When this refinery is completed, it will have a production capacity of 60,000 barrels of oil per day," said South African Energy Minister Radebe, adding that the investment is expected to reach more than $ 1 billion. Dollar for the entire project.
The country has no refineries of its own and relies on Sudan's oil refineries and pipelines to export oil.
The economic lung of the state
South Sudan produces about 155,000 barrels a day, which is less than half its production before the outbreak of the civil war in December 2013.
This framework agreement was signed after a three-day oil and energy conference South Sudan organized in March to attract investors.
The government of South Sudan said today that the signing of the peace treaty in September helped revive the country's oil sector, which was heavily affected by the civil war, with production already growing by 20,000 barrels a day in two months.
Production ranges from 135,000 to 155,000 barrels a day.
The oil sector is the cornerstone of the peace treaty sponsored by Sudan, whose economy has also suffered from the slowdown in oil production in southern Sudan.
In June, Khartoum pledged to help the oil fields of southern Sudan.
South Sudan's oil reserves are at the center of the conflicts that set its history, even before its independence in 2011, and often helped finance the fighting.