South Sudan oil output hits 200,000 bpd after Khartoum oil deal

Worker walks at the power plant of an oil processing facility at an oilfield in Unity State
A worker walks at the power plant of an oil processing facility at an oilfield in Unity State April 22, 2012. REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic

JUBA (Reuters) - South Sudan has increased crude production to more than 200,000 barrels of oil per day (bpd) after reaching an oil deal with Sudan and plans to restart more wells in fields in Unity state, the country's oil minister said on Monday.

Sudan's President Omar Hassan al-Bashir told South Sudan's Salva Kiir at a summit on Tuesday that Khartoum would continue to allow the landlocked nation to use its oil export facilities and Port Sudan port.

Sudan had earlier threatened to close the pipelines connecting the two countries in a row over alleged support for Sudanese rebels operating across the shared border.

South Sudan's petroleum minister, Stephen Dhieu Dau, told reporters that oil production was now slightly above 200,000 bpd with an extra 100,000 bpd expected by the end of the year. Last week, output was 180,000 bpd, according to the ministry.

More wells would start producing an extra 5,300 bpd from this week in an oilfield in Unity state near the border to Sudan, Dau said, adding that two more fields in the state would start pumping a total of 30,000 bpd in November and December.

South Sudan used to pump 300,000 bpd until it closed all wells in January 2012 in a row over pipeline fees with Khartoum. Both sides agreed in March to resume oil flows but opening hundreds of wells proved a challenge after the shutdown.

Some oilfields were also damaged during weeks of border skirmishes between the two countries in April 2012.