Malaysia's Petronas says may not bid for South Sudan oil license

Petronas and China National Petroleum Corporation are operating in the landlocked East African country

  
Image used for illustrative purpose. A worker walks by an oil well at the Toma South oil field to Heglig, in Ruweng State, South Sudan August 25, 2018.

Image used for illustrative purpose. A worker walks by an oil well at the Toma South oil field to Heglig, in Ruweng State, South Sudan August 25, 2018.

REUTERS/Jok Solomun

KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysian state oil firm Petronas may not join an oil licensing round in South Sudan this year as the company reviews its assets due to challenging market conditions, it said on Tuesday.

"Petronas is undertaking a strategic review of its assets to ensure that its portfolio remains resilient and commercially viable," the company said in an emailed statement to Reuters.

"Therefore, Petronas may not be participating in the South Sudan's first licensing round this year."

Last month, South Sudan officially launched its first oil licensing auction with five blocks on offer. 

Petronas and China National Petroleum Corporation are operating in the landlocked East African country, which is slowly rebuilding a key economic sector after a five-year civil war that ended with a ceasefire and power-sharing deal in 2018.

Petronas has taken a hit to revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In May, it posted a first-quarter profit that more than doubled from the previous year, but warned that demand recovery remained uncertain. 

(Reporting by A. Ananthalakshmi; Additional reporting by Denis Dumo in Juba; Editing by Martin Petty) ((ananthalakshmi.as@thomsonreuters.com; Twitter: @AnanthalakshmiA;))


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