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Sudan, South Sudan Deploy Joint Forces To Protect Oil Fields

South Sudan and Sudan have deployed a joint military force along their border to protect oil fields and pipelines from criminal activity, South Sudan’s Minister of Petroleum Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth was quoted as saying on Thursday.

South Sudan broke from Sudan in 2011 and took with it around 350,000 bpd in oil production. After South Sudan’s secession from Sudan, the two countries have been mutually dependent on oil revenues, because the south has 75 percent of the oil reserves, while the north has the only current transport route for the oil to international markets.

But then civil war in South Sudan broke out in 2013 that further complicated oil production. And the oil price crash the following year additionally affected oil income for the ravaged economies of both countries.

South Sudan’s civil war has been funded by oil revenues, according to The Sentry, an investigative initiative co-founded by George Clooney.

Sudan and South Sudan were expected to discuss plans to recover oil infrastructure and production last month when South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir visited Sudan’s capital Khartoum for a new round of talks with rebel leader Riek Machar. The South Sudan civil war started in 2013 following a dispute between Kiir and his former vice president Riek Machar.

Earlier in June, Sudan and South Sudan agreed to jointly repair oil infrastructure that was damaged during the bloody civil war that resulted in the split in 2011.

At the end of June, the warring factions in South Sudan signed the so-called Khartoum Declaration of Agreement, in which the parties to the South Sudan conflict declared a permanent ceasefire and the ministers of Sudan and South Sudan explored ways to rehabilitate the oil sector in South Sudan.

South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir said on Wednesday that he was ready to accept a peace deal to end the civil war and form an inclusive new government.

“People talk about exclusivity, nobody is to be left out of the government. I accept it,” Reuters quoted Kiir as saying.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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