Making Sense of South Sudan's New Petroleum HSE Management System and Plan Regulations

Environmental conditions in South Sudan’s petroleum producing areas have continued to deteriorate. This is demonstrated by recent reports of oil leaks and spills, inappropriate handling of produced water and mud pits, birth defects, people and animals getting sick and dying after drinking water contaminated by petroleum activities. In March 2015, South Sudan’s Minister of Petroleum and Mining signed new regulations to implement HSE Management Systems and Plans as stipulated in the Petroleum Act, 2012 to ensure the petroleum industry operate in accordance with international best practices. About a year after the signing of the new regulations and seven months after being launched publicly by the Ministry, the companies have met none of the requirements. The main reasons for non-compliance include inadequate political will, regulatory design and technical constraints. This paper analyses the new HSE regulations, and recommends ways to achieve their successful implementation