JUBA, March 31 (Xinhua) -- South Sudan will resume oil production in three previously closed oilfields in the coming month and boost daily production by 70,000 barrels per day in June, the petroleum ministry said on Sunday.
The Ministry of Petroleum and Mining said in a statement that the El-Nar, El-toor and Manga oilfields, all based in the northern part of the country will restart production by April 27, with a target to increase output by 70,000 barrels by June.
The decision was made following a tour of the oilfields by South Sudan's petroleum minister Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth and his Sudanese counterpart Ishag Adam Bashir Gamaa on Saturday.
Gatkuoth asked China Petroleum Engineering and Construction Corporation, a subsidiary of China National Petroleum Corporation which is rehabilitating the El-Nar and El-toor oilfields, to speed up the process and meet the April 27 deadline for resuming production.
The two ministers also signed an agreement that would allow oil companies operating in South Sudan to use Sudanese territory to transport oil production equipment.
Juba and Khartoum in June 2018 agreed to jointly repair oil infrastructure damaged during South Sudan's civil war and allow resumption of production in the next three months.
The Khartoum Declaration also said the two countries would deploy a joint security force to protect oil facilities from further attacks.
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 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 reopened, which helped raise oil output to nearly 200,000 barrels per day in the last six months.