South Sudan resumes pumping 20,000 bpd from oilfield suspended since 2013

South Sudan’s Minister of Petroleum, Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth, turns a spigot at an oil well at the Toma South oil field to Heglig, in Ruweng State, South Sudan August 25, 2018. (Reuters)
Updated 27 August 2018
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South Sudan resumes pumping 20,000 bpd from oilfield suspended since 2013

  • Production at five of the previously suspended oilfields was expected to reach 80,000 bpd after maintenance work is completed
  • South Sudan’s oil is shipped to international markets via a pipeline through Sudan

KHARTOUM: South Sudan has resumed pumping 20,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude from the Toma South oilfield, where production had been suspended since 2013, the Sudanese oil minister Azhari Abdulqader said. Production at five of the previously suspended oilfields was expected to reach 80,000 bpd after maintenance work is completed by the end of the year, Abdulqader told a news conference in Khartoum.
South Sudan’s oil output currently stands at 130,000 bpd and is expected to reach 210,000 bpd by year-end, he added.
South Sudan seceded from Sudan in 2011 when output peaked at 350,000 bpd but two years later plunged into civil war. At the time fighting started, production was at about 245,000 barrels per day.
The conflict has killed tens of thousands, displaced an estimated quarter of South Sudan’s population of 12 million and ruined its economy that heavily relies on crude oil production.
South Sudan’s oil is shipped to international markets via a pipeline through Sudan.
The area in which Toma South oilfields lie saw the most intense fighting between rebels and government troops, damaging oil production facilities.
During a visit on Saturday to Toma South, some 20 miles to the border with Sudan, Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth, South Sudan’s Oil Minister, said the resumption of production in blocks 1, 2 and 4, will bring an additional output of 45,000 barrels per day.
He said the operator of the fields, Greater Nile Petroleum Operation Company, and staff from his ministry were working to ensure full production.
“They will be here in Toma South working seven days a week, 24 hours a day to make sure that the production is not interrupted and also to make sure the central processing facility is operational,” Gatkuoth said.
The return to production and pumping is part of a cease fire and power-sharing agreement that was reached earlier this month when President Salva Kiir, rebel leader Riek Machar and other rebel groups signed a peace deal meant to end the civil war. “I can tell everyone, the production can be more if peace is there and if we are determined to nourished it,” Abdulqader said.


SABIC prepares to meet investors to offer bond

Updated 25 September 2018
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SABIC prepares to meet investors to offer bond

  • The Kingdom’s petrochemical giant will be meeting investors in London, New York, Los Angeles and Boston from Sept. 25
  • SABIC has also confirmed the appointment of BNP Paribas and Citigroup as global coordinators on the sale

LONDON: Saudi Basic Industries Corp. (SABIC) is preparing to offer its dollar-denominated unsecured bond to the global market with investor meetings due to start this week.
The Kingdom’s petrochemical giant will be meeting investors in London, New York, Los Angeles and Boston from Sept. 25, according to a filing on the Saudi stock exchange on Tuesday.
The Saudi company is likely to be keen to tap into the heightened international interest in the Kingdom’s financial markets following the lifting of some restrictions on foreign investors’ activities at the start of the year.
SABIC has also confirmed the appointment of BNP Paribas and Citigroup as global coordinators on the sale, alongside HSBC Bank, Mitsubishi UFG Securities EMEA and Standard Chartered Bank acting as joint lead managers, in its Tadawul note.
The proposed issuance has been well-received so far by analysts with ratings agency Moody’s Investor Service assigning an ‘A1’ rating to the proposed senior unsecured notes to be issued by the financial vehicle, referred to as SABIC Capital II, and guaranteed by SABIC itself.
“SABIC’s A1 rating reflects its strong business position in the chemical sector and its ability to weather industry volatility, particularly given its healthy operational cash flows and conservative liquidity profile,” said Rehan Akbar, a senior analyst at Moody’s, in a note on Monday.

 

The bond is anticipated to be used in part to refinance an existing SR11.3 billion ($3 billion) one-year bridge loan raised in January this year to fund the company’s 24.99 percent stake in the Swiss chemical company Clariant, according to the Moody’s note. All regulatory requirements were completed on this acquisition earlier this month.
Cash proceeds from the bond may also be used to repay a $1 billion bond due on Oct. 3, according to Moody’s.
On Tuesday SABIC confirmed that the bond will be used mainly to refinance “outstanding financial obligations” of the company and its subsidiaries.
Analysts at rating agency S&P Global were also upbeat about SABIC’s outlook, with research published on Monday stating that the company has “strong profitability” via its KSA operations and a “strong” liquidity position.
“The debt issuance is helpful for the credit profile in the sense that it extends the company’s debt maturity profile and strengthens its liquidity position,” said Tommy Trask, corporate and infrastructure credit analyst at S&P Global.
The agency currently assigns the petrochemical firm an ‘A Minus’ rating, with a “stable outlook,” which it said reflects its “view on the sovereign as well as its expectations that SABIC will maintain high profitability under current benign industry conditions.”
S&P Global’s report said margins in the global chemical industry will “largely stabilize in 2018 following several years of improvement, attributable to the increase in commodity chemical capacity.”
However, it also warned that a key risk to credit quality is
the trend for mergers and acquisitions within the sector and the “potential negative impact on credit metrics from funding them with debt.”

FACTOID

SABIC operates in more than 50 countries across the world.