South Africa and South Sudan signed a framework agreement on Friday that predicts that Pretoria will invest $ 1 billion (880 million euros) in the troubled oil industry in the world's youngest country.
The negotiations will be conducted to define the precise structure of this agreement between two state-owned companies, the South African Central Energy Fund and the South Sudan Petroleum Corporation.
South Sudan Oil Minister Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth said the funds will be used to build a refinery and pipeline, oil exploration and training of workers and engineers.
"When this refinery is completed, it will have a production capacity of 60,000 barrels of oil per day," South Africa's Energy Minister Jeff Radebe said, adding that the investment is expected to reach more than $ 1 billion. dollars for the entire project.
The country does not have its own refineries and depends on refineries and Sudanese pipelines for the export of its oil.
Country economic lung
South Sudan produces about 155,000 barrels per day, which accounts for less than half of its production before the start of the civil war in December 2013.
This framework agreement was signed after a three-day conference on oil and energy organized by South Sudan in Juba to attract investors.
The South Sudanese government said on Wednesday that signing a peace deal in September helped revitalize the country's oil sector, which was deeply affected by the civil war, with production already increasing by 20,000 barrels a day in just two months.
Production increased from 135,000 barrels per day to 155,000 barrels per day.
The oil sector is one of the pillars of the Sudan-sponsored peace accord, whose economy has also suffered from the slowdown in oil production in South Sudan.
In June, Khartoum promised to help repair the oil fields of South Sudan.
South Sudan's oil reserves are at the center of the conflicts that marked its history, even before its independence in 2011, and often helped to finance the fighting.