JUBA, Jan. 8 (Xinhua) — South Sudan has resumed oil production in the northern Unity region after disruption by a five-year old conflict which damaged oil wells.
Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth, minister of petroleum, revealed on Tuesday that he authorized the first phase resumption of oil production on Dec. 31 in five wells from the 16 wells.
“The initial target of the oil production at Phase One will be 20,000 bpd (barrels per day),” Gatkuoth told journalists in Juba.
He disclosed that they will launch full resumption plan in Unity oilfields together with Azhari A. Abdallah, Sudan’s minister of petroleum and minerals on Jan. 21.
South Sudan since last year worked on renovating its 48 MW power plant to boost oil production at Tharjiath oil field from 14,000 bpd to 40,000 bpd in the northern Unity region.
South Sudan prior to outbreak of conflict in December 2013, produced some 350,000 bpd before it declined to less than 160,000 bpd due to devastation caused by conflict on the oil fields.
The country depends on oil production to finance about 98 percent of its fiscal expenditure despite ongoing efforts to increase its share of the non-oil revenue.
South Sudan has suffered from a civil war since December 2013, which led to the death of thousands and the displacement of about 4 million others.