JUBA, Jan. 22 (Xinhua) -- South Sudan will boost its current oil output by 70,000 barrels per day (bpd) by the end of the year, petroleum minister Ezekiel Lul Gatkuoth said on Tuesday.
The recently reopened Unity and Toma South oilfields are already producing a combined 35,000 bpd, an output that will be further raised to 70,000 by the end of the year, Gatkuoth said in a statement.
The Unity oilfields were reopened on Jan. 21, with an output of 15,000 bpd after nearly five years of shutdown.
According to the World Bank, South Sudan is the most oil-dependent nation in the world, with oil accounting for almost the totality of exports, and around 60 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP).
But after the young nation descended into civil war in late 2013, oil production declined from 350,000 bpd in 2011 to less than 130,000 bpd in 2014, amid soaring inflation.
In June 2018, Juba and its northern neighbor, Sudan, agreed to jointly repair oil infrastructure damaged during South Sudan's five-old civil war and allow resumption of production.
The Khartoum Declaration also said the two countries would deploy a joint security force to protect oil facilities from attacks.
Speaking on state-owned radio, South Sudan Broadcasting Cooperation (SSBC), on Sunday, Gatkouth also directed oil companies operating in Palouch oilfields to raise crude production from the current 35,000 bpd to 270,000 bpd in Blocks 3 and 7.
"There is no reason why we should not go back to 270,000 barrels. This production is a must, and it must be implemented," Gatkouth said.