South Sudan hopes to resume oil production in September

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Addis Ababa, August 9 (WIC) - South Sudan's lead negotiator with Sudan at the African Union, Pagan Amum, said oil production would restart around September, especially in the Upper Nile state fields which contributed much of the country's previous output.

Sudan and South Sudan have agreed on issues related with oil transit fees, in their recent negotiations mediated by the African Union High Level Implementation Panel (AHUIP).

The two parties have also agreed to set up a joint delegation to work for debt cancellation of Sudan’s debts. South Sudan has offered over 3 billion dollars in direct financial assistance over the next three and a half years.

The deal marked a step towards ending hostilities between the two countries. Pagan said that his country expected to begin production "immediately in September, especially for the Upper Nile oil, of Dar Blend," adding: "It will not just be an automatic thing.

It will take time to open one well after the other." The production will begin from 150,000 barrel per day (bpd) and within three, four months, it would go to 180,000, 190,000 (bpd), and then it will go to the (old) level, and possibly higher than the time (before shutdown) within one year, he said.

The two countries will resume their talks on August 26 to resolve the remaining issues that have not been resolved. The AU Peace and Security Council have agreed that the negotiations on all outstanding matters should be concluded by September 22nd.