Sudan and South Sudan have finally agreed to go ahead and set up a demilitarised buffer zone along their shared border and resume oil production and exports, according to the African Union which organised a meeting on Friday between the heads of the two countries in Ethiopia.
South Sudan is home to three quarters of the oil production of the two countries, however much of the refining and pipeline infrastructure lies north in Sudan which also has sole seaport access.
South Sudan shut down its 350,000 bpd production in January last year in protest with the North over the amount it should have to pay to export its oil. This is just one of a number of disputes that have lead the countries to come to all out war.
Oil is a crucial currency-earner for both countries which are interdependent when it comes to oil and gas and whose output is mainly exported to the energy-hungry Asian markets.
Latest EIA data shows that the two Sudans are producing at about 425,000 bpd with 330,000 bpd allocated for exports over 60 per cent of this goes to China, 9 per cent to Malaysia and 8 per cent to Japan.