04 September 2013, News Wires – South Sudan is reportedly planning to boost oil production by 40,000 barrels a day after agreeing a deal with Sudan to continue the flow of oil exports through Sudanese pipelines.
Foreign minister Barnaba Benjamin told Reuters in Kampala that South Sudan would increase oil production to at least 200,000 barrels-a-day in the next two to three weeks from the current daily output of 160,000 barrels.
“The technical staff is already on the ground preparing the oil wells,” Benjamin said, adding that the country hopes to restore output to the pre-closure levels of 350,000 barrels-a-day by the end of the year.
South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir and his Sudanese counterpart Omar al Bashir agreed on Tuesday to continue the flow of oil “without any impediments,” giving a potential lifeline to their respective economies that have been hit hard by an 18-month oil shutdown.
The two leaders have also pledged to implement all agreements signed in September 2012 to normalise relations.
South Sudan restarted oil production around May amid a litany of disputes with Sudan, ranging from oil transit fees to the demarcation of the 1120-mile long border.
A key disputes remains over the ownership of oil-rich regions that straddle the poorly marked border.
In June, Sudan threatened to block oil shipments from its southern neighbour after it accused Juba of using oil revenues to back rebels in its territories.
South Sudan inherited around 75% of the oil fields upon its session from Sudan in July 2011 but has to rely on pipelines that run through Sudan to export its crude.