Sudan has been touting for upstream investment since US sanctions were lifted five months ago. But, with output having dwindled to just 75,000 b/d, plans to boost output to 200,000 b/d have been kicked into the long grass.

Sudan produced 465,000 b/d as recently as 2010. But the country lost 78% of its output with the secession of South Sudan in mid-2011. Production in 2012 was a mere 103,000 b/d, and by early 2018 this had fallen to just 75,000 b/d (see chart). Rising domestic demand means...