By G9ija

South Sudan will kick-start an auction of licenses to develop eight oilfields around the country later this month.

Arkangelo Oler, the Director-General for Planning, Training, and Research at South Sudan of Oil Ministry disclosed this while speaking at an oil conference in Cape Town.

South Sudan’s oil production has reached 178,000 barrels per day (BPD) and the country aims for output to reach 200,000 BPD within the next two years, the official said at an oil and power conference.

“We are working on increasing the production of oil,” Oler said.

Long-term, South Sudan aims to ramp up production to 350,000 BPD, Oler added, without specifying a time frame. That level was South Sudan’s peak production before 2012 when a five-year civil war brought the young country’s oil industry to a virtual standstill.

“I am optimistic that we are moving toward a stable government,” Oler said.

South Sudan’s President, Salva Kiir, and rebel leader Riek Machar have agreed to form a transitional government by the middle of November, the information minister said in September.

South Sudan made a small oil discovery in Northern Upper Nile State in August, its first since independence in 2011.

Oler said oil minister Awow Daniel Chuang would officially launch the tender for the licenses at a conference in the capital, Juba, on Oct. 29-30. Also, South Sudan would declare the results in the first quarter of 2020.

“We are inviting companies to come and impart your technologies based on the best international practices, South Sudan is the current destination for investment” Oler added.