September 10, 2016 (WAU) – The South Sudanese Petroleum minister, Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth has disclosed that government plans to establish a new oil facility in the country before end of the year.
- South Sudanese soldiers guard an oil refining facility (AFP)
The new oil facility, he said, will be opened in Palouch oilfields of oil-rich Unity state next month.
“The idea to establish a new facility aims to amplify daily production in the country,” said Gatkuoth.
According to the South Sudanese petroleum minister, since conflict erupted in the young nation in December 2013, the world’s youngest nation has only been producing 130,000 barrels of oil per day.
The new facility will be handled by the Dar Petroleum Operating Company which has been managing the production of oil in Palouch of Unity state since the signing of Sudan’s 2005 peace deal, said Gatkouth.
Gatkuoth, however, said although production was halted due to waves of violence, oil workers in the region were safe ahead of plans to restart production in Unity state.
The minister said neighbouring Sudan recently agreed to help South Sudan and its oil companies in repairing damages caused by war in order to allow quick resumption of production at its oil wells.
“For us to operationalize the resumption of oil there, we are actually thinking that by December, things are going to change in Unity state and resumption of oil production will restart in the area,” he said.
South Sudan, one of Africa’s leading oil producers, still lacks an oil refinery of its own, making transportation very costly. Revenues from oil account for 98 percent of South Sudan’s annual budget.