Officials from South Sudan and Sudan say they have agreed to set up a joint coordination unit to accelerate the importation of new equipment much needed in the mass oil production campaign.
South Sudan Petroleum Minister Awow Daniel Chuang told state-run South Sudan Broadcasting Corporation (SBBC) that they intend to ease movement of oil production equipment coming in through port Sudan.
He said oil companies are currently facing setbacks in the importation of equipment.
“We are going to monitor all the petroleum production materials that are coming into the country because oil producing companies are currently facing some challenges,” Chuang said.
Existing limitations in the export of Juba’s oil through Khartoum ports were jointly addressed, Chuang said, adding that the new arrangements would ease oil export and further increase its daily oil output from the current 170,000 barrels per day.
Landlocked South Sudan relies on Sudan’s oil infrastructure to transport its crude oil for export.
South Sudan dispatched a high-level delegation headed by finance minister Salvatore Garang Mabiordit to Khartoum to discuss ways of strengthening oil production in the conflict-torn east Africa country.
According to the World Bank, South Sudan is the most oil-dependent nation in the world, with oil accounting for around 60 percent of its gross domestic product.
But after the young nation descended into civil war in late 2013, oil production declined from 350,000 barrels per day in 2011 to less than 130,000 barrels per day in 2014 amid soaring inflation.
Following the signing of a new peace deal in September 2018, conflict has reduced and previously closed oilfields have re-opened, with the country’s current daily output estimated at 170,000 barrels per day.
In June 2018, Juba and neighboring Khartoum agreed to deploy a joint security force to secure oil installations and jointly repair oil infrastructure damaged during South Sudan’s civil war.