DR. CHOL-Back at Nilepet with ambitious plans

By James Atem Kuir

The Nilepet Rumble came to an end last Friday with the return of Dr. Chol Deng Thon Abel to the helm of the national oil and gas firm after 13 months of being in the cold following his sacking in September last year.

President Salva Kiirreappointed Dr. Abel as the new Managing-Director of Nile Petroleum Corporation Company in a decree read on the national public service broadcaster, SSBC on Friday evening, October 22, 2021.

He replaced Eng. Bol Ring Muorwel,his predecessor-cum-successor who was fired earlier on October 14, 2021 amid mounting accusations by a section of staff for mismanagement and graft. The decree that removed Mr. Muorwel did not however give any reason for his sacking.

Dr. Abel’s appointment brought to rest mounting campaigns and wild speculations that had linked several officials in the national and state governments to the top seat of the oil firm.Four days after position of Managing Director had fallen vacant, sources close to the authorities had it that,there were about eleven candidates already eyeing the lucrative Nilepet post.

Activist Edmund Yakani, said the return of Dr. Abel to Nilepet top management is a test case for him to turn things around for the better in the state parastatal given the past accusations of maladministration and corruption.

“It is an opportunity to return him to prove to us that he is not associated with the past accusations of malpractices and corruption in the national company,” said Yakani who is the executive director of Community Empowerment for Progress Organization (CEPO), a civil rights advocacy group based in Juba.

Yakani said there was need for reforms in the institution in order to enable it function and perform to the expectation of the public.

“He has the responsibility to prove to us that he is not being rewarded because for the previous allegations being corrupt. He has to prove this time that he is transparent and not corrupt,” he pressed.

Nilepet is the technical, operational and commercial arm of the Ministry of Petroleum participating in the exploration of oil in the country.

It holds stakes in the three consortia of international oil companies exploring and producing oil in Upper Nile and Unity states.

The oil producing consortia include the Greater Pioneer Operating Company (GPOC) which consists of CNPC (40 percent), Petronas (30 percent), ONGC Videsh (25percent)  and Nilepet (5 percent)SPOC or Sudd Petroleum Operating Company which is owned by Petronas (67.8 percent), ONGC Videsh (24.2 percent) and Nilepet (8 percent); and Dar Petroleum Operating Company (DPOC) consisting of China National Petroleum Corporation 41 percent, Petronas (40 percent), Nilepet (8percent), Sinopec (6 percent)and Tri-Ocean Energy (5 percent).

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