Libya will begin loading oil for export on July 20 after the force majeure was declared lifted following an intense battle for control of the National Oil Company (NOC) last week.
The Government of National Unity (GNU), led by interim prime minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibah, last week appointed a new chairman of the NOC to replace long-time chairman Mustafa Sanalla, who refused to step down when armed militias stormed the headquarters.
After days of silence on the NOC website and social media pages, late on Monday, a statement released on the NOC Facebook page said that two tankers would arrive at the ports of Zueitina and Sidra to load more than one million barrels of oil. The statement also said that an additional two tankers would arrive at the port of Ras Lanuf, either on the 20th or 21st.
“These arrangements have been made in order to resume production operations,” NOC added.
Farhat Bengdara (bin Qadara) on Sunday said he had officially taken over the NOC and announced that the oil blockade would be lifted within a week after holding talks with powerbrokers in the ‘Oil Crescent’ region.
Sanalla remains silent, and talk now is of some sort of alliance-shifting deal between General Khalifa Haftar, the head of the Libyan National Army (LNA) who had supported Dbeibah’s rival, Fathi Bashagha.
Bashagha was appointed new prime minister in March by the country’s eastern-backed Parliament, while Dbeibah, whose mandate technically ended when his government failed to hold elections in December last year, has refused to step down.
As of June 30th, Libya was exporting between 365,000 and 409,000 barrels per day. Prior to the declaration of force majeure in April, the country was exporting up to 865,000 bpd, according to NOC data cited by S&P Platts.
By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com
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