JUBA, South Sudan

The South Sudan government is beginning plans to take full control of its oil sector by introducing a training facility and controlling data storage, Petroleum Minister Puot Kang Chol said Tuesday.

The training facility will help equip South Sudanese ahead of 2027 when the government plans to phase out foreign investors from the oil sector, Chol said during the launch of a petroleum report.

“We are working on establishing a training facility — a petroleum training center for the republic of South Sudan where we will be training young men and young women of the Republic of South Sudan, preparing them to take over from our partners when the time is ripe for us to do so,” he said, noting that the facility will be launched next year.

The government is also completing the building of a data center to manage its data on oil operations, said Chol.

“Our data is managed from Khartoum. With support from our partners, we are now at the last stage of building a data center in the Republic of South Sudan,” he said. “The aim is for us to move our data from Sudan so that we manage it ourselves.”

The petroleum report launched Tuesday covers June 2016 to May 2020.

Undersecretary of the Ministry of Petroleum Awow Daniel Chuang noted the report is very important for sharing information.

“The launch is about oil production, cost of production, and fiscal regime that we have,” said Chuang. “What we have published today is going to help us in managing the oil sector and especially when we are trying to comply with our laws.”

South Sudan depends on oil and has had a hard time in 2020, with lower oil prices taking a toll on the country’s economy and the coronavirus has disrupted logistics and supplies.

Production is 170,000 – 172,000 barrels per day, below the projected total of 190,000.

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