By Deng Machol
Juba – South Sudan’s Ministry of Petroleum has launched the opening bid round for its environmental audit tender, warns the private oil companies of environment pollutions.
The launch included a presentation on the value of the environmental audit for the country’s revitalized oil sector and the associated measures being put in place by the Ministry to advance the sector.
South Sudan warned the private oil companies of ecological damage caused to the people and animals at the oilfield.
Both the National ministries of petroleum and environment, and forestry have warned oil companies operating in South Sudan against environmental pollutions that affected citizens’ lives.
Several reports indicated the manage caused by the oil pollution to the residents include children born deform.
Six oil companies that applied for the tender contract were selected to audit the environmentally affected oil-producing regions of the Upper Nile, Unity, and Ruweng administrative area.
The private companies selected for tender contract competition include Envage Associate (K) LTD, Bright Heritage company limited, CSI International (Bomatex ltd), Panloy, Cowi as Norway Optimum Engineering company. None of these companies is yet to take for the tender contract.
The environmental auditing process that will be this year.
The Ministry stated that the audit would ensure an accurate assessment of oil, condensate gas reserves and production; the reporting on revenue and investment flows; and the establishment of recommendations on the technical, fiscal and regulatory issues faced by petroleum sector stakeholders.
Oil Minister, Puot Kang said the government would monitor the operation of oil companies, and there must be a continuous environmental audit.
Minister cautioned oil companies to put the lives of the people first.
He explained that the environmental auditing exercise aims to find credible information and address environmental challenges in South Sudan.
Puot further advised that the company that will be contracting for environmental should work with the law.
“When we talk about the environmental audited, it is not like other audits. We are dealing with the life of our people. And we are dealing with the lives of our people, and then we must be careful,” said Kang during the launch of tender oil contract that will audit the environment in Juba.
“When the report does come out, whichever company we select must ensure that the report is based on facts,” said Kang. “We will make the report public and provide details as to why we selected the specific company in order to be transparent.”
The Minister of Environment and Forestry Josephine Niphon urged oil companies to operate within the law, particularly petroleum, to avoid environmental pollutions that affected the lives of local communities.
She warned the company of any negligence that might result in the loss of lives in the oil operation without complying with the law.
On the same event, the representative of Unity state government, Hon. Malual Tap Diu, Minister of Finance, said companies should protect the environment and put lives first.
He argued the share payable to the state where oil is operating should not jeopardize people’s health.
“I want to remind the ministry of petroleum and stakeholders that the five percent give to the state are not in exchange the lives of our people,” said Tap.
Promotion Local Oil Companies
Minister Puot emphasized the value and promotion of local content within South Sudan’s oil sector, together with the promotion of local company participation and equal opportunities for South Sudanese companies.
Through the enforcement of a unified human resource policy that ensures the safety and well-being of oil sector workers in the country, South Sudanese citizens are being put at the forefront of the sector’s revitalization.
“We have also come up with local content laws to protect the local people and companies. In the procurement department, opportunities should be available for local companies and they should have the priority in the sector. We are not chasing foreigners away, we are simply prioritizing local participation,” said Kang.
According to the Petroleum Ministry, since the starting of oil production in 1997 in then Sudan, environmental affected have never been audited in South Sudan.
The environmental report recommended a five-year clean-up that would cost about $58 million.
East Africa’s youngest nation, founded nearly 10 years old, expects its oil industry to generate $99 million in revenue each month from July 2019 to June 2020, according to the national budget.