In an interview with Xinhua, Daniel Awow Chuang revealed that his ministry is planning to launch the country's first oil and gas bidding round in March, adding that the environmental audit has already commenced.
"This licensing round will not just be given, but the companies have to compete, and for us, we have to get the best at the end of the day. There are a number of companies that have expressed interest, and in March we will evaluate each," Chuang said in Juba.
The Ministry of Petroleum is currently collecting data to make it easier for investors to invest in the oil sector. South Sudan is the most oil-dependent nation in the world, with oil accounting for almost all of its exports and around 60 percent of its gross domestic product, according to the World Bank.
"The area we are exploring can only be 10 or 11 percent, but the rest 89 or 90 is unexplored that means we still need a lot of work to be done, and that's why we are planning to have the licensing round to make sure more oil is explored," he said.
The minister revealed that since August 2019, South Sudan has made a discovery in the Adar oil field in Block 3, containing more than 37 million barrels of recoverable oil.
Meanwhile, on Thursday, Sudan dissolved the boards of the country’s central bank and 11 other state-owned banks as it moves to dismantle the regime of the toppled president Omar al-Bashir.
Empowerment Removal Committee, a Sudanese legal committee, also fired the managers of eight of the banks.
Badr Eldin Abdelrahim, the central bank governor, was, however, spared the axe and remains in his post as he awaits a new board to replace the dissolved ones soon, a committee member told Reuters.