Oil workers threaten to shut down at the end of February an oil export terminal in eastern Libya, which typically ships out nearly 200,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude if workers’ pay demands are not met by a unit of the state oil corporation, Argus reported on Tuesday, quoting a shipping source.
The workers threaten to shut down crude oil exports from the Marsa el-Hariga oil terminal, which ships oil pumped by Agoco, a subsidiary of Libya’s National Oil Corporation (NOC).
Last year, Marsa el-Hariga exported on average 196,000 bpd, while crude shipments out of the oil port averaged 194,000 bpd in January 2022, Argus tracking data shows.
Demands for payment are often the cause of blockades in Libya’s oil exports. The most recent blockade was by the Petroleum Facilities Guard and forced NOC to declare force majeure on exports from several ports at the end of December and early January. A pipeline shutdown for urgent repairs and the blockade of several fields, including the country’s largest oilfield, Sharara, plunged Libya’s oil production to below 800,000 bpd in early January.
Libya has managed to restore its oil production to above 1 million bpd since January, but a renewed political crisis in the country could threaten production and exports again.
Libya’s Parliament based in the east named last week a new prime minister, while the incumbent refuses to step down and was reportedly a target of an assassination attempt last Thursday, in yet another political rift in the OPEC oil producer.
The renewed political chaos, after a failed election scheduled for end-December 2021, threatens to bring back chaos to Libya’s divided institutions and raises the prospect of renewed conflict and blockades of oil ports and other energy infrastructure.
The east-based Parliament on Thursday named former interior minister Fathi Bashagha to serve as a new interim prime minister. But Abdulhamid al-Dbeibah, the prime minister leading the internationally recognized Government of National Accord (GNU), refuses to step down and recognize the Parliament’s choice. Over the weekend, the crisis escalated as forces rallied in the capital Tripoli to defend al-Dbeibah’s claim to legitimacy.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
More Top Reads From Oilprice.com:
- IEA: Chronic OPEC+ Undersupply Could Propel Oil Prices Even Higher
- Geopolitical Risk Premium Could Send Oil Prices To $120
- OPEC Gets Further Behind Oil Production Quotas