• 1 day Shell Oil Trading Head Steps Down After 29 Years
  • 1 day Higher Oil Prices Reduce North American Oil Bankruptcies
  • 2 days Statoil To Boost Exploration Drilling Offshore Norway In 2018
  • 2 days $1.6 Billion Canadian-US Hydropower Project Approved
  • 2 days Venezuela Officially In Default
  • 2 days Iran Prepares To Export LNG To Boost Trade Relations
  • 2 days Keystone Pipeline Leaks 5,000 Barrels Into Farmland
  • 2 days Saudi Oil Minister: Markets Will Not Rebalance By March
  • 2 days Obscure Dutch Firm Wins Venezuelan Oil Block As Debt Tensions Mount
  • 2 days Rosneft Announces Completion Of World’s Longest Well
  • 3 days Ecuador Won’t Ask Exemption From OPEC Oil Production Cuts
  • 3 days Norway’s $1 Trillion Wealth Fund Proposes To Ditch Oil Stocks
  • 3 days Ecuador Seeks To Clear Schlumberger Debt By End-November
  • 3 days Santos Admits It Rejected $7.2B Takeover Bid
  • 3 days U.S. Senate Panel Votes To Open Alaskan Refuge To Drilling
  • 3 days Africa’s Richest Woman Fired From Sonangol
  • 4 days Oil And Gas M&A Deal Appetite Highest Since 2013
  • 4 days Russian Hackers Target British Energy Industry
  • 4 days Venezuela Signs $3.15B Debt Restructuring Deal With Russia
  • 4 days DOJ: Protestors Interfering With Pipeline Construction Will Be Prosecuted
  • 4 days Lower Oil Prices Benefit European Refiners
  • 4 days World’s Biggest Private Equity Firm Raises $1 Billion To Invest In Oil
  • 5 days Oil Prices Tank After API Reports Strong Build In Crude Inventories
  • 5 days Iraq Oil Revenue Not Enough For Sustainable Development
  • 5 days Sudan In Talks With Foreign Oil Firms To Boost Crude Production
  • 5 days Shell: Four Oil Platforms Shut In Gulf Of Mexico After Fire
  • 5 days OPEC To Recruit New Members To Fight Market Imbalance
  • 5 days Green Groups Want Norway’s Arctic Oil Drilling Licenses Canceled
  • 5 days Venezuelan Oil Output Drops To Lowest In 28 Years
  • 5 days Shale Production Rises By 80,000 BPD In Latest EIA Forecasts
  • 5 days GE Considers Selling Baker Hughes Assets
  • 6 days Eni To Address Barents Sea Regulatory Breaches By Dec 11
  • 6 days Saudi Aramco To Invest $300 Billion In Upstream Projects
  • 6 days Aramco To List Shares In Hong Kong ‘For Sure’
  • 6 days BP CEO Sees Venezuela As Oil’s Wildcard
  • 6 days Iran Denies Involvement In Bahrain Oil Pipeline Blast
  • 8 days The Oil Rig Drilling 10 Miles Under The Sea
  • 8 days Baghdad Agrees To Ship Kirkuk Oil To Iran
  • 9 days Another Group Joins Niger Delta Avengers’ Ceasefire Boycott
  • 9 days Italy Looks To Phase Out Coal-Fired Electricity By 2025
Alt Text

Iraq Struggles To Keep Oil Exports Elevated

Iraq is struggling to offset…

Alt Text

Is Saudi Arabia Lying about Its Oil Inventories?

Orbital satellite data suggests that…

Alt Text

Oil Drillers Reopen The Fracking Debate

The debate surrounding fracking’s environmental…

Mysterious Outage In Libya Could Drive Oil Prices Higher

oil flaring

It’s been a rollercoaster ride for Libya’s oil sector the last few months. With production from this important OPEC player swinging wildly with unstable politics in the country.

And news this week suggests things just got worse for Libya’s oil industry — in a major way.

Unnamed sources in the country told Bloomberg Wednesday that Libya’s largest oil field, Sharara, has been suddenly shut in. With the pipeline carrying crude from this massive operation having been completely idled.

As a result, sources said Libya’s overall oil production has now fallen to 560,000 barrels per day. Coming just days after Libya’s National Oil Corp. had publicly pegged the country’s production at 700,000 b/d.

That suggests the stoppage at Sharara has lowered production by 140,000 b/d — representing a 20% decline. With the shortfall happening virtually overnight, and with no apparent warning to oil traders.

Here’s the most important point: sources in Libya didn’t give any reason for the outage. Making it difficult to tell if the drop in production will be a prolonged event.

The most likely candidate is political instability. With numerous oil facilities across Libya having seen shutdowns in recent months due to fighting between the country’s national army and various rebel factions. Related: OPEC Compliance Nears 100% On Libyan, Nigerian Outages

In fact, the country’s Es Sider oil export terminal had just reopened for shipments this week — after a three-week stoppage, during which the rebel Benghazi Defense Brigades briefly took control of the facility.

Sources commenting on this latest outage did note that crude exports have now been halted at two other Libya oil terminals: Zawiya and Mellitah. Although it wasn’t clear if the problem is at these facilities themselves, or due to problems with the pipelines feeding the terminals.

Whatever the case, this disruption is an important event for crude prices. With Brent jumping $1.12 per barrel on the news, putting it solidly above $50. Watch for more news from Libya on whether production from Sharara can be restored soon — if not, we could see more upward momentum for oil.

Here’s to on-again, off-again.

By Dave Forest

More Top Reads From Oilprice.com:




Back to homepage


Leave a comment
  • Radu on March 30 2017 said:
    It wouldn't be surprising if oil companies themselves are behind this unrest. It clearly benefits them financially.

Leave a comment




Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News