JUBA, May 1 (Xinhua) -- South Sudan has resumed oil production at the El Nar Oilfield by adding more 5,000 barrels, bringing the country's daily oil output to 175,000 barrels per day, the petroleum ministry said on Wednesday.
The El-Nar oilfields, which ceased production in December 2013 due to civil war, reopened on Tuesday, with an initial 5000 barrels, and efforts are under way to increase output before the end of May, the ministry said in a statement issued in Juba.
Petroleum minister Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth said they hope to resume production in El Toor and Manga oilfields before the end of May as part of efforts to boost daily production by 70,000 barrels by June.
"As of today (Tuesday), El Nar has started producing 5,000 bbl of oil a day and will continue to increase immediately when more wells are put into production," Gatkuoth said.
Gatkuoth applauded China Petroleum Engineering and Construction Corporation, a subsidiary of China National Petroleum Corporation for the efforts they have put in renovating the facilities in El Nar, which enabled the fast start of oil production.
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, and the landlocked country is hoping to raise daily output to over 200,000 barrels per day by the end of 2019.