December 26, 2013 / 5:03 PM / 6 years ago

South Sudan rebels capture some oil wells in Unity state: Minister

JUBA (Reuters) - South Sudan rebels loyal to former vice president Riek Machar have captured some oil wells in Unity state where production was shut down earlier this week due to fighting, the petroleum ministry told Reuters on Thursday.

“Some oil wells are in the hands of rebel soldiers loyal to former vice president Riek Machar and we fear they may cause damage to the facilities and the environment,” Petroleum Minister Stephen Dhieu Dau said by telephone.

Dau said rebels have captured the Thar Jath oil field in Unity state, a region which produced about 45,000 barrels per day before the shutdown. Dau added that oil flows are unaffected in Upper Nile state where 200,000 bpd are produced.

Reporting by Carl Odera; writing by Drazen Jorgic; Editing by Anthony Barker

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