Gov’t demand three billion dollars from oil companies
By James Atem Kuir
The Council of Ministers have demanded the companies producing the country’s oil to return more than three billion dollars which went missing from government shares over the years.
South Sudan oil is produced by three consortia of oil companies with the national oil company, NilePet holding stakes in each of the group on behave of government.
They included the GPOC or Greater Nile Pioneer Operation Company which consists of China National Petroleum Company CNPC(40 percent), Malaysia’s Petronas (30 percent), India’s Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Videsh (25percent) and NilePet (5 percent).
The other consortium is controlled by China National Petroleum Corporation (41%), Petronas (40%), NilePet (8%), the China Petroleum and Chemical Corporation or Sinopec (6 %) and Tri-Ocean Energy (5%), collectively known as Dar Petroleum Operating Company or DPOC.
The third group is known as Sudd Operating Company orSPOCis owned by Petronas (67.8 percent), ONGC Videsh (24.2 percent) and NilePet (8 percent).
Michael Makuei Lueth the Minister of Information and Government Spokesperson said the more than three billion United State dollars was discovered to have been taken by the oil companies in an audit report released recently.
He said the cabinet in its resolution number 26/2021, directed the Ministry of Petroleum to conduct an environmental audit on the oil producing companies but had been met with resistance by the firms.
”…the oil companies have been in one way or the other obstructing the implementation of this resolution and so the Minister (of Petroleum) had to come back to brief the cabinet on the resistance that is facing its implementation. As such, the cabinet reaffirmed and re-enforced its resolution number 26/2021and directed the Minister of Petroleum to ensure the operationalization and implementation of the resolution in letter and spirit,” he said.
“And that is to make sure … the companies accept and pay the staff accordingly and that the sum of three billion dollars is paid to the government of South Sudan and that the environmental audit which is being resisted by the oil companies is done immediately and the report is presented to the cabinet in time,” he demanded.
He warned the oil companies against rejecting the new policy providing for equal payment of both national and international staff equal.