Whilst crude diversions and transit fees have been crippling to South Sudan’s ability to generate more than minimal revenue from oil sales, the post-independence slump in output and continued instability are also to blame.

South Sudan inherited three-quarters of pre-split Sudan’s oil output, some 350,000 b/d for 3Q 2011. But output rapidly slumped. Output was shut in for 15 months from early 2012 as the result of a standoff with Sudan over access to the newly-independent...