By March 28, 2017 Read More →

Armed protests cut Libyan oil production by 252,000 b/d


Armed protesters blocked Libyan oil production Sharara (shown) and Wafa, two of the country’s western oilfields. Reuters photo by Ismail Zitouny.

Stoppage threatens Libyan oil production revival

Libyan oil production from two of the country’s western oilfields was blocked by armed protesters, reducing the struggling country’s output by 252,000 b/d, a source at the National Oil Corporation told Reuters on Tuesday.

As a result, NOC declared a force majeure on Sharara crude loadings from the Zawiya oil terminal and Wafa condensate loadings from the Mellitah terminal.

So far, the identity of the group responsible has not been determined and a Libyan oil source said no one has claimed responsibility for the shutdown of pipelines from the oilfields to the Zawiya refinery and port.

According to the Reuters report, Sharara, which had been producing about 220,000 b/d, was shutdown on Monday while Wafa stopped production on Sunday.  Sharara is operated by a joint venture between NOC and a consortium of Repsol, Total, Statoil and OMV.

There has been no comment from the NOC.

The stoppage comes not long after Libyan oil production began to recover after years of disruptions due to conflict, political divisions and local protests.  Groups calling for salary payments or other forms of funding had repeatedly blocked Libya’s pipelines and ports.

Oil production in Libya had more than doubled since last year, reaching about 700,000 b/d.  Last September, three eastern ports were reopened and Sharara resumed operations in December after a two-year pipeline blockade was lifted.

The NOC had set its sights on recovery, hoping production from Sharara would increase to nearly 300,000 b/d and was targeting its national output to jump to 800,000 b/d by the end of April.

The crude from Sharara was due to be loaded on to the Sea Vine tanker later this week, however, the booking for the tanker has been cancelled, according to a Libyan port source in the Reuters story.

Prior to the 2011 uprising, Libyan oil production reached 1.6 million b/d.



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