South Sudan Foreign Minister Denies Drop in Oil Output

Khartoum, December 30, 2014 (SSNA) — South Sudanese Foreign Minister Dr. Barnaba Marial Benjamin has denied reports that South Sudan’s oil production has dropped sharply due to the ongoing war in the country.

Marial who is now in Khartoum for an official visit to mark the 59th anniversary of Sudan’s independence was interviewed by the South Sudan in Focus and declared that the oil production has never stopped for one day.

"It’s only the Unity fields where the workers were withdrawn because there was a threat of more destruction there, but the oil has been flowing.  It has never stopped for one day,” Dr. Marial told South Sudan in Focus.

“There is no fighting in the oil areas. The oil has been flowing since December 2013,” he added.

However, economists and oil experts disagree, stating that South Sudan oil production has fallen from roughly 250,000 barrels per day to 160,000 barrels per day after the war broke out, according to the United States Energy Information Administration (USEIA) website which was quoted by the Voice of America.

The government of South Sudan depends heavily on oil revenues and many regional experts warned that the young nation’s economy could collapse without warning.

The price of crude oil has plummet, forcing the government to look for ways to finance its war against the raging rebellion.

In May 2014, South Sudan borrowed $200 million from a Chinese company and delayed repayments on domestic loans, putting the young nation’s economy viability into question.

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