A man waves South Sudan's national flag as he attends the Independence Day celebrations in the capital Juba.

JOHANNESBURG - South Sudan expects to reach peak oil output of 350,000 barrels per day (bpd) by mid-2019 as production ramps up at fields that were off-line due to violence, the country’s petroleum minister, Ezekiel Lol Gatkouth said Thursday.

South Sudan ceded from Sudan in 2011 when output peaked at 350,000 bpd, prior to the outbreak of a bloody civil war two years later, the Sudan Tribune reported.

The Toma South oilfield resumed pumping 20,000 bpd of crude last week after production was suspended in mid-December 2013.

Production at five previously suspended oilfields is expected to reach 80,000 bpd after maintenance work is completed by the end of the year.

The South Sudan government, which stopped negotiations with France’s Total over development of blocks B1 and B2, is expected to choose a new partner by the end of December.

Following South Sudan ceding from Sudan, the world’s newest country managed to get the lion’s share of oil resources.

However, Juba’s only export route is through Sudan, giving the latter leverage which subsequently led to ongoing price disputes, a critical factor impacting South Sudan’s economy as oil is its main form of revenue.

- African News Agency (ANA)