H.E. Terje Aasland, Minister of Petroleum and Energy of Norway, and H.E. Ihsan Abdul Jabber, Minister of Oil of Iraq, presented the need for balanced and sustainable energy development at the fifth edition of South Sudan Oil & Power 2022
JUBA, South Sudan: Energy ministers from Norway and Iraq delivered salient Ministerial addresses on the first day of South Sudan Oil & Power (SSOP) 2022 (https://bit.ly/3A1hgvV) on Tuesday, discussing the role of climate change, COVID-19 and geopolitical conflict on sustainable energy development, as well as the potential for heightened energy cooperation among Europe, the Middle East and East Africa. Video addresses were delivered by H.E. Terje Aasland, Norway’s Minister of Petroleum and Energy, and H.E. Ihsan Abdul Jabber, Iraq’s Minister of Oil.
“As policymakers, our most important task is to improve energy security. How can we make the energy system more robust to meet an ever-changing world?” asked Minister Aasland. “To solve the challenges of energy access and the energy transition, we need global cooperation. We all must do our share. Norway will remain a stable and predictable supplier of energy to international markets, and will continue to develop our resources within both petroleum and renewables.
Already a strategic partner to South Sudan in peace and sustainable development efforts, Norway represents a valuable model for integrated energy development, serving as a key European supplier of oil and gas to the global market. The Norwegian Minister identified a clear policy framework as one of the keys to fostering bilateral energy cooperation and sustainable energy growth.
“South Sudan has both energy and mineral resources, and a good basis in existing legislation. Your oil revenues have the potential to benefit the entire population, if governance and transparency in the sector are strengthened,” said Minister Aasland. “We must build on the platform of opportunities in our countries and regions, reducing emissions and developing technology towards a sustainable future, full of energy.”
As the fourth-largest oil producer worldwide, Iraq represents another global oil and gas powerhouse, producing nearly 4.6 million barrels per day and home to vast onshore expertise that could help transform South Sudan’s industry. Like South Sudan, Iraq has been seeking to balance hydrocarbon development with its campaign to reduce carbon emissions, in light of both energy security and energy transition concerns.
“The world’s eyes are turning to energy producers. Global power demand is projected to grow by 50% by 2040, which means that it is imperative that energy is affordable, even in complex and dynamic environments,” stated Minister Abdul Jabber. “South Sudan’s oil plans need to maximize investment and focus on fields with high gas availability to supply the local market and reduce oil consumption. Iraq has the same challenges, in terms of using local fuel for power generation.”
Echoing the sentiment of his Norwegian counterpart, Minister Abdul Jabber highlighted the role of technology, knowledge sharing and the exchange of best practices in enabling countries like South Sudan – which holds the third-largest oil reserves in sub-Saharan Africa – to harness their hydrocarbon resources.
“Technology development can assist in securing energy by eliminating emissions from oil consumption and improving efficiency. Digitalization will be key to making oil production and oil generation efficient and helping manufacturers reduce waste. We would like to underscore that Iraq has a wide range of oil exploration capacity and knowledge that can be shared with our friends in South Sudan.”