South Sudan’s ministry of petroleum has contracted three top companies to commence an environmental audit in the oil fields in the country.
According to Petroleum Minister, Mr Puot Kang Chol, the audit that started on Saturday, September 17, 2022, runs for three months.
“The companies that have won the audit contract are as follows; number one is companies called COWI SA Norway Bridge consult environ care. This is the company that we assigned DPOC or Dar Petroleum to. The other company is Envag Associates Kenya Company Limited and this is the company that will take responsibility for GPOC, the next company is Panloy & SGS Company Limited and this is the company that will audit in the areas of SPOC. These are the three companies that have won the audit.” Mr Kang said.
“After giving them their contracts today (Friday), we want them to accomplish the work in 90 days and they must be ethical and must not compromise with the lives of our people,” he added.
Speaking at the same event, Ambassador Caesar Oliha Marko, the chairperson of the South Sudan National Petroleum and Gas Commission, said water contamination in the oil fields has been a major challenge and needs to be addressed.
“Contamination of the water has been one of the major problems we have been experiencing especially in Paloc. Since the 2013 conflict, our oil industry has been struggling,” he said.
The Undersecretary in the ministry of environment, Mr Joseph Africano Bartel, said his ministry recommends that environmental audits be done yearly.
“According to our policy, the oil companies are supposed to audit the environment annually. We would like to appeal to the audit companies to do well regarding the environment,” he said.
The Undersecretary in the petroleum ministry, Mr Mayen Wol, said President Salva Kiir ordered the environmental audit.
“Phase two will be the execution of the auditing itself. The audit companies should do your work well because your work will be evaluated,” he said. “After three months, we shall start the evaluation of your work.”
The audit process was initiated in 2019 by the ministry of petroleum and the National Petroleum and Gas Commission after several reports of environmental and water pollution in the oil fields due to oil spills.
Earlier last week, the petroleum ministry launched an oil and power conference in Juba in a bid to attract more investors to the oil sector.
Out of 25 companies that applied to carry out the environmental audit, 11 were shortlisted for tendering, and the three best contractors were finally selected for the award of the contracts.