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Blockade Sends Libya’s Oil Production Crashing Below 100,000 Bpd

An oil export terminal blockade that led to the shut down of fields and refineries has so far cost Libya close to $4 billion, the National Oil Corporation said in a statement this week, adding that production was now down to below 100,000 bpd, at 89,993 bpd as of Sunday.

“NOC calls on all parties within Libya to lift the blockade and re-start oil and gas production, so every Libyan can benefit from a stronger economy and a more steady supply of fuels,” the statement read.

Unfortunately, this could not have come at a worse time. The rest of OPEC and even non-OPEC producers such as Norway and Canada are considering oil production cuts in response to the oil price plunge that followed Saudi Arabia’s announcement of plans in early March to turn the taps on and up supply to 12.3 million bpd from this month.

A group of paramilitary formations affiliated with General Khalifa Haftar’s Libyan National Army occupied the export terminals in mid-January along with pipelines and fields. The blockade came amid continued fighting between the LNA, which is loyal to the eastern Libyan government and the forces loyal to the Government of National Accord, which is recognized by the United Nations.

Since then, the blockade has cost Libya 1.13 million bpd in lost oil production, adding up to a cumulative 83 million barrels and financial losses of $16.586 million daily, according to data from the National Oil Corporation.

Meanwhile, the fighting continues despite numerous calls for a ceasefire, including a “global ceasefire” amid the Covid-19 pandemic. All attempts at instituting a truce, even for 24 hours, have so far failed as LNA’s Haftar seeks control of the whole of Libya, and the GNA continues to protect its positions. Other countries have also joined the conflict, with Turkey sending troops to help the GNA and Emirati forces fighting on the side of the LNA.

By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com

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