South Sudan said on Thursday it aims to increase oil output from the current 145,000 barrels a day (bpd) to about 200,000 by 2020.
Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth, minister of petroleum, said in a statement issued in Juba on Thursday that increase in oil production will enable them to put more crude on the market as they seek more buyers. “Operating companies nationwide are engaged in preparing for oil production resumption, likely increasing production by the end of 2019 to 200,000 bpd,” said Gatkouth.
He also disclosed that due to ongoing peace implementation, they hope to increase current production levels to previous levels of 300,000 barrels per day. Gatkuoth announced that the government was inviting more refiners and traders to take part in its upcoming competitive tenders for government-owned crude cargoes.
“We do expect to put more crude on the market and are seeking to expand our base of buyers,” he said. He revealed that South Sudan would sell its crude via a competitive and transparent tender process for spot and term buyers.
“Prepayments allow the government to access revenue at competitive rates, especially as the government continues to finance the ongoing peace process,” he said.
South Sudan resumed oil production in at least five of 16 wells in northern Unity region in January.
Gatkuoth noted that the expected increase in production is already having a significant positive impact on the economy, with thousands of young south Sudanese newly employed by oil operators to contribute to the production increase efforts.
“The government continues to be optimistic about the potential of South Sudan and the investment opportunities for energy industry players,” he said.
The country depends on oil production to finance about 95 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 displacement of about 4 million people. [Source: Xinhua]