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Sudan 101: Could Sudan's oil resources solve its problems?

If oil revenue is concentrated on infrastructure projects in far-flung regions, such as South Sudan and Darfur, it could prevent those areas from falling back into war.

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Greater prosperity through an oil-driven economy has the potential to create jobs and generate revenues that would allow both north and south Sudan to mimic the relatively well-managed oil-driven economies of the Persian Gulf states such as Qatar and Dubai.

Oil revenues have already made an impact, paying for roads and bridges and hydropower dam projects that the country desperately needs.

But most experts believe that the country’s oil may cause more harm than good, increasing government corruption and perhaps even pushing the country back into war.

For one thing, the oil wealth is not evenly distributed.

The bulk of Sudan’s oil lies in fields along the still-unmarked boundary between the North and the South, between the still-heavily armed Sudanese People’s Liberation Movement and the equally well-armed miltary loyal to President Omar al-Bashir.

According to most estimates, more than 70 percent of the oil reserves and more than 70 percent of the current production are inside Southern Sudan.

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