South Sudan seeks to raise daily oil output to 400,000 barrels by 2020

Source:Xinhua Published: 2019/4/17 23:09:50

South Sudan plans to increase oil production to 400,000 barrels per day (bpd) by the end of 2020 as the country hopes to resume oil production in oilfields affected by five years of civil war, petroleum minister Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth said on Wednesday.

Gatkuoth said the east African country is currently producing 135,000 barrels, but that figure could rise to over 200,000 barrels by the end of 2019.

"I am very happy and I know we have a lot of potentials, and I invite more companies to come and invest in South Sudan," the minister added.

The petroleum minister announced last month that the country would add another 70,000 barrels in June with the reopening of El-Nar, El-toor and Manga oilfields.

According to the World Bank, South Sudan is the most oil-dependent nation in the world, with oil accounting for around 60 percent of its gross domestic product.

But after the young nation descended into civil war in late 2013, oil production declined from 350,000 in 2011 to less than 130,000 barrels per day in 2014 amid soaring inflation.

Following the signing of a new peace deal in September 2018, conflict has reduced and previously closed oilfields have reopened, increasing output.

In June 2018, South Sudan and neighboring Sudan agreed to deploy a joint security force to secure oil installations and jointly repair oil infrastructure damaged during South Sudan's civil war, but the pact is now hanging in the balance amid the ongoing political crisis in Khartoum.

Gatkuoth said though the situation in Khartoum is concerning to Juba, the upheavals have not affected oil flow through Sudanese pipeline to the Red Sea.

"Instability in Sudan is worryingly concerning us but so far, we are happy with our Sudanese brothers and sisters, that regardless of the political changes in the country, the lifeline of the two countries is oil and so far, they are giving maximum protection to the workers and to the facilities," Gatkuoth said.

Posted in: AFRICA

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