Sudan orders South Sudan oil to flow again

Sudan on Thursday authorised companies to transport oil from South Sudan, in line with a timetable that will release billions of dollars in revenues stalled over security concerns.

"Ministry of oil gives directives to companies to reprocess, transport and export oil of South Sudan," the official SUNA news agency said in a brief dispatch.

The South's government in Juba last week ordered oil companies to resume production after a 14-month dispute with Khartoum.

But it may still take months for significant income to reach their treasuries because of technical issues, industry experts say.

South Sudan halted crude production in early 2012, cutting off most of its revenue after accusing Khartoum of theft in a row over export fees.

At talks in Addis Ababa this month, the two countries finally settled on detailed timetables to ease tensions by resuming oil flows and implementing eight other key pacts.

The deals had remained dormant after their signing in September as Khartoum pushed for guarantees that South Sudan would no longer back rebels of the Sudan People's Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N).

At the AU-led talks in the Ethiopian capital, Sudan softened its stance on the security guarantees, observers said.