South Sudan boosting oil production

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Oil production has risen by 9,000 barrels per day to reach 169,000 bpd this month amid reports of continued fighting close to oil-producing areas in Unity and Upper Nile States. Oil output was 245,000 bpd before the outbreak of the civil war in December 2013.

Oil production has risen by 9,000 barrels per day to reach 169,000 bpd this month amid reports of continued fighting close to oil-producing areas in Unity and Upper Nile States. Oil output was 245,000 bpd before the outbreak of the civil war in December 2013.

Petroleum and Mining Minister Stephen Dhieu Dau announced the increase in output at a press conference in Juba yesterday in which he stated that all the production was taking place in Upper Nile State.

Observers say that decline in output was caused by lack of spare parts made worse by the fighting near some oil wells.

On January 21, the government accused rebel forces under Riek Machar of attacking and setting on fire an oil facility in Pariang County in the north of Unity State. Information Minister Michael Makuei said the oil wells “were not operational since that area was under the rebels, but nevertheless they decided to set it on fire.”

South Sudan’s revenue depends almost exclusively on its oil exports. The national income has also been hard hit by the fall in oil prices.

Stephen Dua said early this month that the decline in oil prices in the global market had reduced national revenue from sales of crude oil. He also announced his ministry’s “plans to start allocating blocks for exploration and production using open tender process”.

Most of the crude oil the country produces is mined in Upper Nile and Unity States, where most of the fighting has taken place during the past 13 and 1/2 months.

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