South Sudan’s minister of petroleum says country hopes to boost oil production by 70,000 barrels per day

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South Sudan’s Minister of Petroleum, Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth said the East African country will work towards boosting oil production by 70,000 barrels per day (bpd) by June 2019, a month before the government and rebels are due to form a government of national unity.

South Sudan’s production is currently between 350,000 and 400,000 bpd. Gatkuoth said “with 3.5 billion (barrels of) proven reserves and only 30 percent explored, there is more to offer to serious investors”. He noted that  production would restart in the Al-Nar, Al-Toor and Manga oilfields by April 27.

A significant portion of the East African country’s oil infrastructure was damaged during a five-year civil war.

About 400,000 people were killed and more than a third of the country’s 12 million people uprooted by the conflict, which was punctuated by multiple rounds of failed mediation followed by renewed bloodshed.

The government signed a peace deal with most of the rebels in September, under which they were to gather, disarm, retrain and integrate their forces ahead of the formation of a unity government in May.

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