Sudan releases several South Sudan oil tankers

After weeks of dispute, the East African nation of Sudan decided to release three oil tankers bearing shipments from their new neighbor South Sudan, according to Reuters.

Sudan has been preventing the departure of several million barrels of South Sudanese crude oil as the countries continue to argue over the appropriate transit fees to charge for use of the country's ports.

The decision came despite continuing failure to make any progress at the negotiating table, as Sudanese officials sought to ease some of the growing tension.

"We don't have any positive response from the other side," Sudanese Oil Minister Awad al-Jaz told reporters. "We're still open to cooperation but the other side has refused."

However, several other oil ships are still being held in port and the contents of one has already been sold, with two more on the trading block.

Reuters reports that South Sudan responded last week by cutting off the country's oil production, a critical resource for Sudan, which lost three-quarters of its production capacity when the south seceded. They also announced plans to build a new oil pipeline leading through Kenya.

Prospects for the Sudanese oil market can be found at PennEnergy's Research area.

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