Natural resources, energy and environment
South Sudan's by far the most important
natural resource is the large deposits of oil near the
border with Sudan, mainly in the states of Unity, Upper
Nile and Jonglei. The oil, like natural gas, exports. In
addition, there are deposits of iron, copper, zinc, gold
and silver, but the mining of these metals is
Oil deposits have been known since the 1920s, but it
was not until 1999 that commercial extraction began.
Today's South Sudan was then part of Sudan, which in
2011 was divided into the states of Sudan and South
Sudan. At the split, about 75 percent of oil resources
went to South Sudan. But the only two lines that South
Sudan can use to transport the oil to the port of export
in Port Sudan on the Red Sea are through Sudan. To use
these lines, South Sudan pays fees to the neighboring
country in the north.
Major exports by South Sudan with a full list of the top products exported by the country. Includes trade value in U.S. dollars and the percentage for each product category.
Until 2012, oil generated good export income in South
Sudan, but subsequent conflicts with both Sudan and the
country have resulted in a significant reduction in oil
money (see further Current policy and Economic
Foreign companies compete to map and exploit oil
resources. However, a few years after the start of the
extraction, Western companies, such as Canadian Talisman
Energy and Swedish Lundin Oil / Lundin Petroleum,
decreased their operations in Sudan, following reports
that the government had displaced local people near oil
wells. The Western companies were occupied by Asian
companies such as Indian ONGC, Malaysian Petronas and
Chinese CNPC. Nowadays, Western companies are
re-operating, such as French Total and American Exxon
Mobil, as well as Arab companies such as Kuwaiti Kufpec.
Abbreviationfinder: A popular acronym site in the world covering abbreviation for each country. For example, SSOM stands for South Sudan.
There is a great lack of electricity in South Sudan,
partly because the electricity grid is so poorly
developed. Only a few percent of the population have
continuous access to electricity, most of them live in
the capital Juba. Diesel-powered local generators are
the most common way of generating electricity. Municipal
power plants with local distribution networks are only
available in some of the larger cities. Most power
plants are powered by oil or coal.
The huge water resources give South Sudan the
opportunity to greatly expand electricity generation. A
number of projects were at the planning stage before the
civil war broke out in 2013, but then stopped.
Warnings have come about serious environmental
threats in the wake of oil recovery. In the oil-rich
state of Unity, dangerous levels of heavy metals such as
lead, cadmium and arsenic have been measured in the
wells of the locals. There have also been fears that the
emissions will spread to the world's largest inland
wetland, Suddträsken north of Juba.
South Sudan has a rich wildlife, but during the civil
war in the 2010s came reports of serious shootings of
many kinds of animals, including elephants, giraffes and
antelopes. Many animals were hunted mainly for their
meat, while the elephants were killed for ivory.
FACTS - ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENT
Energy use per person
59 kilo oil equivalents (2014)
Electricity consumption per person
39 kWh, kWh (2014)
Carbon dioxide emissions in total
1 496 thousand tonnes (2014)
Carbon dioxide emissions per inhabitant
0.1 ton (2014)
The share of energy from renewable sources
39.1 percent (2015)
Accusations of flight fears against refugee camps
The government of Juba accuses Sudan of having bombed a refugee camp in Unity
State, near the border with Sudan. The Sudanese military denies the allegations.
New rebel group attacks city
The newly formed rebel group South Sudan's Liberation Army (SSLA) attacks the
city of Mayom in the state of Unity State. At least 75 people are killed in the
Commissions should resolve conflicts
During resumed negotiations, Sudan and South Sudan agree to set up a series
of commissions to resolve the remaining problems, not least the border
conflicts, between the countries.
Decision on new capital
The government decides to move the capital from Juba to Ramciel in the state
of Unity State in central South Sudan.
Continued fighting in Jonglei
Hundreds of people are killed in land conflicts between livestock people. The
fighting is exacerbated by a good supply of small arms as a result of the long
The transitional government is being replaced by a new permanent government.
The purpose is to better represent all the new groups of the new state. But the
DIN-dominated SPLM maintains a firm grip on power.
South Sudan becomes independent
The South declares itself independently. The new country is named South
Sudan. Despite the tense situation at the border of Abyei, Sudan recognizes the
new state and President Omar al-Bashir is attending the festivities in South
Sudan's capital Juba.
Peace Force to Abyei
In an attempt to settle the conflict, the north and south sides sign an
agreement to withdraw their troops from Abyei and allow a peace force from
Ethiopia to monitor the area.
The north side occupies Abyei
The talks between the north and the south collapse after the referendum in
southern Sudan, where the government suspects that the north side is trying to
overthrow self-government. Conflicts are intensified both in southern Sudan (in
Jonglei) and between the north and south sides. The south side is deploying
forces in Abyei and in March the north side's military enters and occupies the
oil district. The SPLA forces are retiring, while large sections of the civilian
population are being driven out of Abyei.
Resounding yes to independence
Virtually all participants - 98.8 percent - vote for independence for
southern Sudan when the referendum on the area's future status is held January
9-15. The turnout is reported to be extremely high, with as many as 98 percent
of eligible voters going to the polls. In connection with the referendum,
fighting in Abyei erupts, with at least 30 casualties. Otherwise, the referendum
has been reported to have been calm. The referendum that would have been held
simultaneously in Abyei has been postponed indefinitely.