* South Sudan output shut down since January
* Unity oil facilities damaged in fighting
* Landlocked South must export through Sudan
(Adds comments on petroleum act, background)
JUBA, Aug 30 (Reuters) - South Sudan's Upper Nile oilfields
may take up to half a year to resume production after the
government signs a final deal on export fees with Sudan, South
Sudan's oil minister said on Thursday.
Getting crude flowing again from the Unity oilfields may
take up to a year, he said, adding that facilities needed
repairs and renovation after they were damaged during border
fighting with Sudan earlier this year.
Landlocked South Sudan, which seceded from Sudan last year,
shut down its production of roughly 350,000 barrels per day in
January during a row with Khartoum over how much it should pay
to pipe crude through Sudan for export.
"For blocks 3 and 7 in Upper Nile, the resumption will be
within four and six months ... for the Unity oilfields, it will
take from 10 to 12 months," South Sudan Oil Minister Stephen
Dhieu Dau told reporters.
South Sudan had initially hoped to resume production in
Block 3 and 7 contributed 250,000 bpd until the shutdown,
according to analysts.
The two sides reached an interim agreement on fees this
month, but the final deal has not yet been signed. Oil is the
lifeline for both economies.
Dau said he expected the government to sign a final
agreement by Sept. 22, a deadline set by the U.N. Security
"Because we've agreed and with the facilitation of the
international community and the African Union, we're confident
that the oil production will resume," he said. "The internal and
technical arrangements are also taking place."
Dau said two mini-refineries the country was working on in
the states of Upper Nile and Unity would meet domestic
consumption by June 2013.
South Sudan's President Salva Kiir signed the new petroleum
act governing the oil industry into law in July, Dau said.
The act makes oil companies responsible for maintaining
health, safety and environmental standards which the ministry
will monitor, he said.
It will also help ensure information about the oil industry
is widely available, Dau added. "This transparent approach will
... work to reduce vulnerability for bribery by making corrupt
practices more difficult than even before."
South Sudan voted overwhelmingly to secede in a 2011
referendum promised in a 2005 peace deal, which ended decades of
civil war between north and south.
The new nation was left severely underdeveloped by the long
conflict and before the shutdown depended on oil for about 98
percent of its state revenues.
(Reporting by Mading Ngor; Writing by Alexander Dziadosz and
Ulf Laessing; Editing by Jane Baird and William Hardy)