South Sudan Crude Output Plumbs New Lows

South Sudan has faced chronic instability since 2011 independence. Output and exports are down again this year amid renewed violence, whilst low oil prices have raised the share paid to IOCs, and to Sudan in transit payments.

South Sudan’s oil sales fell to a three-year low of just 100,000 b/d in September amid ongoing political uncertainty and insecurity.

Output, which was running at 350,000 b/d at independence in July 2011, averaged just 169,000 b/d in 2014 and 148,000 b/d in 2015. It has fallen further since the start of 2016 with the latest figures a fresh drop from 117,000 b/d in July and August, and 129,000 b/d in the first half of 2016.

China, which imports the vast bulk of South Sudanese crude, took just 79,000 b/d in August according to freshly-released Chinese customs stats, the lowest level since July 2013.

The last time oil sales reached such depths were either side of the government’s complete shutdown of crude sales due to a dispute with Khartoum over the transit fees for the use of its oil infrastructure between January 2012 and April 2013. Planned oil sales for October show a slight upturn, but only to 117,000 barrels a day (see chart). (CONTINUED - 1360 WORDS)