South Sudan has ordered oil companies to restart production immediately, ending its dispute with Sudan.
It halted production in January in a row with Sudan over oil transit fees. Tensions between the neighbours escalated to the brink of war.
A deal to resolve the issues was signed last month and ratified by the Sudanese parliament on Wednesday.
South Sudan’s petroleum minister said it would be three months before oil reached international markets.
South Sudan seceded from Sudan in July 2011, taking two-thirds of the former Sudan’s oil, but Khartoum retained the processing and export facilities.
Relations became strained, not just over oil but also over the exact location of their common border, which until now remains disputed.
The two countries’ economies have been seriously damaged as a result of the stoppage – oil accounts for some 98% of South Sudan’s revenue.
“The shutdown of oil production previously authorised by the Republic of South Sudan has served its purpose to protect the sovereignty and patrimony of the nation,” AFP news agency quoted Stephen Dhieu Dau, the oil minister, as saying in a statement.
At the end of September, the leaders of Sudan and South Sudan agreed to resume oil sales – but few details were released about the deal mediated by the African Union.
They also agreed to set up a demilitarised buffer zone.
Sudan: A country divided
Both Sudan and the South are reliant on their oil revenues, which account for 98% of South Sudan’s budget. But the two countries cannot agree how to divide the oil wealth of the former united state. Some 75% of the oil lies in the South but all the pipelines run north. It is feared that disputes over oil could lead the two neighbours to return to war. BBC