South Sudanese oil minister Stephen Dhieu Dau announced that Juba plans to sell 6.4 million barrels of oil worth USD300 before the complete closure, Reuters reported.
He added that South Sudan has sold 1 million barrels of crude in June and contracted further sales of 2.2 million in July and 3.2 million in August, having “enough crude in the pipeline to meet this.”
In June, Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir ordered the stoppage of oil transfer from South Sudan through his country, saying the government of President Salva Kiir is supporting rebels in Sudan.
Bashir insisted on the closure of oil pipelines by August 7 unless South Sudan stops supporting the rebels.
Juba however denied Khartoum’s accusations and in turn accused South Sudan of propping up rebels in the southern regions.
This comes while South Sudan’s oil minister believe the stoppage would affect both countries negatively and cause their economies to suffer. Dau went on to say that, “South Sudan was not backing any Sudanese rebels. We are committed to the flow of the oil. It is in the interest of the two countries. We don’t see that this shutdown can bring any peace or stop internal rebellions in Sudan.”
The developments came after Juba halted its oil production in January 2012, as tensions over transit fees and disputed territory escalated.
South Sudan however resumed its oil production in April, following a deal between the two sides.
South Sudan seceded from the Republic of Sudan on July 9, 2011, after decades of conflict with Khartoum. The new oil-rich nation is one of the least developed countries in the world, with one in every seven children dying before the age of five.