Worker walks in oil production facility in Paloch
Oil production in South Sudan has slumped by about 15 percent since fighting erupted more than two weeks ago, industry sources said Tuesday.
South Sudan, whose economy is almost entirely dependent on oil, plunged
into chaos on December 15 when President Salva Kiir accused his former deputy Riek Machar of mounting a coup, sparking deadly violence believed to have left thousands dead.
The young nation's two major oil producing states are among the four areas most affected by the fighting.
In Unity State, where some oil installations were directly affected by the fighting, "production from the oil fields was completely stopped", India's ONGC Videsh Limited said on its website.
ONGC Videsh is a partner in the two consortia pumping oil in Unity: the Greater Pioneer Operating Company (GPOC) which normally produces some 37,000 barrels per day (bpd) from blocks 1,2 and 4, and the SUDD Petroleum Operating Company (SPOC), which normally pumps 4,600 bpd from block 5A.
That translates to a cut in production of more than 41,000 bpd to around 200,000 bpd -- or a drop of between 15 and 20 percent compared to production levels before the fighting broke out.
"Operations will be resumed once the situation is normalised," the Indian company said, adding that it had evacuated most of its personnel from the country.
However, production in Upper Nile, the other oil producing state, which has also been the scene of clashes, continues unaffected, South Sudan's oil ministry said.
"In blocks 3 and 7... the oil production and operation is running normally. The production level is at 200,000 bpd and most staff have reported back to work," a statement said Monday.
Fighting in Upper Nile has centred round the state capital Malakal and the two oil blocks, 3 and 7, are further north and east. Blocks 3 and 7 are operated by the DAR Petroleum consortium, made up of the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), Petronas of Malaysia and three other partners.