Sudan plans to increase oil production to 180,000 barrels a day by the end of the year by using more efficient technology and improving the recovery rate, a senior official said on Sunday. Sudan lost two-thirds of the around 490,000 bpd of oil production when South Sudan became independent in July under a 2005 peace agreement that ended decades of civil war. Sudan’s current production was 115,000 bpd, Azhari Abdalla, director general of the Oil Exploration and Production Administration (OEPA), told an investor conference. “Production before the end of 2012 will be 180,000 bpd,” he said. “This is from existing fields, existing blocks.” He said Sudan planned to improve the recovery rate to 47 percent from currently only 23 percent as more efficient technologies would applied. The increase would mainly come from Block 6 adding 40,000 bpd, while Blocks 2 and 4 would add 15,000 bpd and Block 17 around 10,000 bpd, he said. Production would be stable at 180,000 bpd until 2016 after which Sudan wanted to increase production to 320,000 bpd, he said. The oil ministry launched at the conference bidding for six new oil and gas blocks listed as Blocks 8, 10, 12B, 14, 15, 18. Mainly Chinese, Indian and Malaysian companies operate in Sudan. Sudan is trying to boost oil production to help overcome a severe economic crisis as a result of southern oil. The country is in the middle of a row with the landlocked South Sudan over sharing southern oil which needs to be exported through a northern pipeline and port. Both sides have failed to reach a deal on a transit fee. South Sudan has accused the north of blocking the loading of its oil shipments at Port Sudan. Khartoum itself has accused the South of having failed to clear port duties.