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SA will not see benefit of oil exploration deal with South Sudan anytime soon

If South Sudan’s power-sharing government, delayed by a further six months, does not materialise, the R14.5 billion deal with South Africa could evaporate.

FILE: Energy Minister Jeff Radebe. Picture: GCIS.

PRETORIA - It will be years before South African consumers feel any benefit from exploration and production sharing rights secured to a fraction of South Sudan’s oil.

And if South Sudan’s power-sharing government, delayed by a further six months, does not materialise, the R14.5 billion deal with South Africa could evaporate.

Energy Minister Jeff Radebe was desperate to get the oil deal with South Sudan signed before the 8 May elections.

Sources in the industry have wondered about the apparent rush.

Since independence eight years ago, South Sudan has signed one other oil deal.

Almost all the 180,000 barrels being pumped from the third largest oil reserve in sub-Saharan Africa go straight to China and Malaysia. Way down the queue, South Africa will only benefit if South Sudan makes new discoveries.