South Sudan and Equatorial Guinea on Monday signed a new pact to boost technical cooperation in the oil and gas sector as part of efforts to strengthen diplomatic ties between the two countries.
Lol Gatkuoth said the agreement would allow South Sudanese oil workers to acquire training in the areas of geology, oil exploration and marketing.
“What we signed involves training in geology, exploring, marketing and other critical aspects of hydrocarbons sector. Equatorial Guinea will be training our technicians in the capital, Malabo starting soon,” Gatkuoth told reporters.
On his part, Obiang said his country seeks to help South Sudan build its oil industry through knowledge and experience sharing.
“This is not the first time that Equatorial Guinea has signed agreements with our African brothers. We have the experience of Ghana and Liberia in the oil industry. And we have always been very clear that the experience that we have gained will be beneficial to the continent. So any African country that requires what we have learned is free to ask and we are free to deliver,” Obiang said.
South Sudan relies on oil revenue to finance 98 percent of its annual budget.
But production has been affected by civil war that broke out in December 2013 after President Salva Kiir accused his former deputy Riek Machar of plotting a coup. Machar denied the accusation but then mobilized a rebel force.
The east African nation’s oil production is currently estimated at 130,000 barrels per day, down from over 300,000 barrels per day before the outbreak of conflict three years ago. Enditem