South Sudan Begins Talks With Sudan on Oilfield Rehabilitation

(Bloomberg) -- South Sudan and Sudan oil ministers began talks on the resumption of oil production and exports through the north African nation, according to a statement published by Sudan News Agency.

South Sudan, which has sub-Saharan Africa’s third-biggest oil reserves, was producing about 350,000 barrels per day in 2011, when it seceded from Sudan. Disputes with its former ruler over transit fees and then the outbreak of war in December 2013 cut output of the East African nation’s only major source of revenue to about 135,000 barrels per day in April.

South Sudan’s Minister of Petroleum and Mining Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth arrived in Sudan’s capital, Khartoum, on Sunday for the talks with his counterpart Azhari Abdul Gadir, according to the statement.

“Oil operation companies have put the logistic and technical preparations in place to begin the operation in Unity, Tharagat and Fuluj oilfields,” Gadir said.

The rehabilitation of South Sudan’s oilfileds should take a maximum three years and will be conducted in three phases, Gadir said on June 20. The first phase includes the maintenance of small oilfields with a capacity of about 20.000 barrels a day, he said.

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