South Sudan’s oil production goes down
JUBA. – Fighting in South Sudan has cut production from the country’s lifeline oilfields by about 29 percent, the press secretary to President Salva Kiir said in Khartoum yesterday.
“South Sudan is still getting more than 175,000 barrels a day,” said Ateny Wek Ateny.
That amount is down from 245,000 barrels per day before fighting began in mid-December between forces supporting Kiir and those from a loose alliance of ethnic militia and army defectors loyal to ex-vice president Riek Machar.
Ateny did not give a dollar figure for how much revenue the government has lost, and said a true assessment can come only after fighting completely stops.
“I know that there are a number of properties that are destroyed in Bentiu, in Bor and in Malakal and we cannot have the assessment now until the war is over,” he said.
In late February, rebels loyal to Machar captured Malakal, the capital of Upper Nile state where most of the South’s oil is produced.
The rebel move on Malakal came despite a ceasefire that was supposed to be in place.
Government forces in January recaptured Bentiu, the capital of another oil-producing area, Unity State.
India’s ONGC Videsh Ltd, a partner in two joint oil production companies in South Sudan, announced on December 26 that the firms had temporarily halted operations there because of deteriorating security.
Those fields were producing more than 40,000 barrels daily. — AFP.