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Libya’s crude oil production has rebounded to 1.2 million barrels daily, according to the country’s oil minister, Mohammed Oun.
Speaking to Bloomberg, Oun said Libya’s crude oil output was back to normal after a series of outages, adding that the biggest field in the country, El Sharara, was producing at near maximum capacity, which is 300,000 bpd.
Libya’s oil production dropped sharply earlier this month after the National Oil Corporation shut down a key pipeline for much-needed repairs. The pipeline shutdown led to a 200,000-bpd decline in production.
That came on top of the latest field blockade by the Petroleum Facilities Guard that began in December and involved four fields, including El Sharara. According to reports, the PFG closed a valve on a pipeline connecting the El Sharara field to the Zawiya port, and another one on a pipeline connecting the Wafa field to the Mellitah port. NOC declared force majeure on exports following the blockade.
The combined effect of the production outages brought Libya’s output to just 780,000 bpd. The country, despite being an OPEC member, is not part of the OPEC+ production control deal because of its aggravated political situation.
The repairs of the pipeline, however, seem to have been unavoidable, after years of neglect and mismanagement, which, according to NOC chairman Mustafa Sanalla meant “it is not possible to continue its regular operation due to the large number of leaks and the deterioration of surface facilities, due to the consequences of illegal closures in the past years, as well as the absence of approved budgets for the sector.”
Even with the field reopenings and the finalization of the pipeline repairs, four oil export ports in western Libya remain shut down because of bad weather, Bloomberg reported, citing unnamed sources in the know. The ports, including Zawiya, Bouri Farwah, and Mellitah, were closed because of the weather earlier this month.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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Irina is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.