South Sudan has resumed with the production of crude oil from its Unity oilfields (former Unity State) in the country’s North West, where production was stopped when the civil war began in 2013. Income from oil accounts for 98 percent of the country’s budget.
The revitalized peace deal signed in 2018 has revived hopes of economic recovery in Africa’s youngest nation.
“We are now producing 35,000 barrels a day (Unity Oilfields 15,000 barrels per day and Toma South Oilfields with 20,000 barrels per day),” oil minister, Ezekiel Lul Gatkuoth, said during events at the oil field celebrating the resumption of production on Monday, 21 January 2019.
Minister Gatkuoth was accompanied by Sudan’s Oil and Gas minister, Azhari Abdulqader, to celebrate together the official pumping of an additional 15,000 barrels per day of crude oil in the northern part of the country.
The minister said production at Toma South and Unity oilfields will rise to 70,000 barrels per day by the end of this year.
“With this production, I can confidently say South Sudan and the Sudan economy will improve for the betterment of the citizens of our two sisterly countries” said Ezekiel.
Landlocked South Sudan, which seceded from Sudan in 2011, lacks the infrastructure to process its crude oil.
This has prompted it to use pipelines that go through neighbouring Sudan to export its oil to the international market.