* Sudan, South Sudan resume talks on oil payments
* First round since border fighting escalated in April
ADDIS ABABA, July 25 (Reuters) - Sudan will revise its
transit fee demand for South Sudan's oil exports when the
African neighbours resume talks to end an oil dispute for the
first time since border fighting escalated in April, a Sudanese
official said on Wednesday.
The U.N. Security Council has given the foes until Aug. 2 to
end all disputes or face sanctions. The neighbours came close to
a war in April when their armies fought for weeks along the
disputed border, the worst violence since South Sudan's
secession a year ago under a 2005 peace agreement.
The African Union has been trying to mediate but both
countries remain at loggerheads over where to mark the disputed
border and how much landlocked South Sudan should pay to export
oil through the north.
Both countries will be discussing on Thursday South Sudan's
oil payments at talks in Addis Ababa, the first time since the
South briefly occupied the Heglig oilfield in April which
contributed much to Sudan's oil output.
Juba shut down 350,000 barrels per day output in January
after Khartoum started taking some oil for what it called unpaid
South Sudan said on Monday it was willing to pay $9.10 and
$7.26 per barrel to transport oil through two pipelines passing
Sudan alongside a $3.2 billion dollar package to compensate for
the loss of most oil reserves to the north.
This offer is higher than before but still well below
Sudan's last demand of $36 a barrel for both pipelines.
"Our position will be developed in accordance with the new
position that has been presented by South Sudan in their
comprehensive paper," said Mutrif Siddiq, spokesman for Sudan's
negotiations team in Addis Ababa.
"Our paper is going to be revised accordingly and we'll see
where we meet and where we differ and we'll try to approximate
the differences as much as we can through the discussions that
will take place tomorrow," he said when asked whether Khartoum
was willing to lower its demand.
Oil provides about 98 percent of South Sudan's income. Juba
is trying to develop infrastructure and institutions devastated
by a war that killed an estimated 2 million people.
The latest round of talks, mediated by former South African
President Thabo Mbeki, have broken down several times over where
to set up a demilitarized border buffer zone - seen as a first
step to ending hostilities.
Sudan has said it wants to make border security a priority
at the talks. It accuses Juba of supporting rebels in two border
states, a claim denied by South Sudan.
(Editing by Ulf Laessing and Angus MacSwan)