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South Sudan to audit environment after oil spills

Author: Jale Richard | Published: Saturday, January 11, 2020

Oil spill at El Torr oil field in Ruweng State that is causing environmental damages on May 30, 2019 | Credit | Joakino Francis/Eye Radio

The Ministry of Petroleum has launched a tender for a comprehensive environmental audit of all oil-producing fields to reduce pollution.

The call for tender announced on Wednesday aims to contract an international independent organization to conduct the audit, suggest best practices for new exploration and repair the historical damage caused by oil production.

South Sudan is struggling to implement the 2012 Petroleum Act designed to manage environmental impact of oil production after years of neglect.

But the country’s civil war that started in 2013-just two years after independence prevented the proper management of the environment.

The Ministry of Petroleum and oil companies have recently been under increased criticism over oil leakage that environmentalists says have destroyed lives and the environment in the oil producing areas.

Both local and international campaign groups have reported widespread environmental pollution in oil-producing areas, with animals and people affected.

They say women are giving birth to deformed babies and stillbirths, claims the local people have confirmed.

Petroleum Minister, Awow Daniel Chuang said the environmental audit will be conducted ahead of any new exploration and drilling.

He says understanding the pollution damage will allow the country to put systems in place to prevent further damage as the country looks to ramp up production.

South Sudan which relies on oil revenues for foreign exchange currently produces about 180,000 barrels per day as it aims to rebuild its economy.

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