Libya’s oil production took a nosedive to less than 300,000 bpd last week, from over 1 million bpd following a blockade of its main oil export terminals, which has in turn prompted the shutdown of several large fields, the National Oil Corporation said as quoted by Reuters.
At the end of the week this improved somewhat, rising to a little above 320,000 bpd.
Tribal groups affiliated with General Khalifa Haftar’s Libyan National Army, itself affiliated with the eastern government of Libya, occupied the terminals last week and seized several fields in Libya’s main oil producing region.
Among the affected fields were Sharara—Libya’s largest—and neighboring El Feel, the two contributing almost a third of Libya’s total output.
The Libyan National Oil Corporation declared force majeure on oil exports soon after the news of the seizures broke and warned that the blockade could cost the country $55 million daily, the Libya Observer reported. The blockade will also cost Libya between 500,000 and 800,000 bpd in lost oil production, according to different reports.
Before the blockade, Libya was pumping around 1.3 million bpd.
The blockade took place ahead of peace talks between Haftar and the UN-recognized Government of National Accord. The talks ended with no definitive result, although the negotiators upheld a ceasefire and an arms embargo agreed earlier by a dozen foreign countries and several regional organizations, but not by the warring parties in Libya. The latest media reports from Libya suggest the ceasefire and the arms embargo have not held.
Al Jazeera reported earlier today the LNA had advanced on the city of Misrata, seizing a town on the way that was under the control of the GNA. The GNA responded, which resulted in clashes that left three people killed. Misrata is a key stronghold of the GNA complete with several militias loyal to the government.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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