Oranto Petroleum will invest $500 million to develop South Sudan’s Block B3, launching a comprehensive exploration campaign starting immediately. The Ministry of Petroleum and Oranto Petroleum Company, South Sudan signed the exploration and production sharing agreement for the block in Juba.
The B3 area covers 25,150 square kilometers. Some aeromagnetic and seismic data have been acquired for the area but no wells have been drilled. The block is highly prospective, with productive parts of the Muglad Basin to the northwest and estimated reserves in place of more than 3 billion barrels of oil. The block is categorized as low risk, high reward. Under the EPSA, Oranto will be the technical operator and 90% shareholder of the block, with Nilepet holding a 10% stake.
“We believe the petroleum resources of Block B3 are vast. To reach our target of more than double current oil production, we need committed new entrants like Oranto,” said Minister of Petroleum Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth. “The government is working hard to reinvigorate the petroleum industry in South Sudan by creating an enabling environment for International oil and gas companies to invest and operate. It is up to the oil companies to come in, explore and produce.”
“It’s an honor to formalize our entry into South Sudan with this EPSA,” said Prince Arthur Eze, Founder and Chairman of Oranto Petroleum. “Our company is at the vanguard of African firms exploring and developing African assets. This is the beginning of a long-term collaboration with Nilepet, the people of South Sudan and our partners to bring to light the immense potential of Block B3. Oranto is committed to an aggressive exploration work program that will benefit all stakeholders.”
The 120,000-square kilometer Block B was split by the government into the B1, B2 and B3 blocks in 2012. In Block B3 Oranto will work alongside the B1 and B2 partners, which include Total. During the first three-year exploration period Oranto will complete a further airborne geophysical survey; acquire and process 2D seismic; and assess existing data held by the government and former operators. The EPSA contract was facilitated by pan-African law firm Centurion Law Group. South Sudan is an established, world-class petroleum producing region, whose territory includes a large part of the Cretaceous rift basin system that has proved petroliferous in Chad and Niger as well as Sudan.
Atlas Petroleum International and Oranto Petroleum, the sister companies of the Atlas Oranto Group, own and operate 20 oil and gas acreages in 10 African countries: Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, Ghana, Liberia, Namibia, Nigeria, São Tomé and Príncipe, Senegal and South Sudan. Founded in Nigeria in 1991, the group is Africa’s largest indigenous explorer by acreage.