After over a year of halted oil production following disputes with its neighbour Sudan, South Sudan has resumed oil production. The two countries, which formally split in 2011, agreed to resume transfers of oil across the border last month.
South Sudan took with it nearly three-quarters of Sudan’s oil production when it declared its independence two years ago. It has large-scale oil production, but is landlocked and reliant on Sudan’s ports for export.
The resumption comes as part of efforts to avoid an all-out conflict over oil revenues and border disputes. Both countries are heavily reliant on the revenues from oil exports to support government finances.
South Sudan’s oil minister said the decision to resume production should be taken as a sign of peace.
The two countries came close to all-out war over border disputes last year, and have since agreed to set up a buffer zone along the border.
Resumption of oil exports is seen as an important part of the peace deal.
The move is also good news for the local economy. South Sudan experienced a sharp recession after the oil was shut off.
The first oil is expected to reach Sudan’s ports by the end of May, according to Sudan’s state news agency, with output expected to reach 150,000 to 200,000 barrels a day.