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Libyan oil production rose to a 700,000-barrel-per-day production rate on Wednesday, after a series of clashes between militant groups in the Oil Crescent caused tensions in the country’s biggest ports.
Libya’s National Oil Corporation (NOC) made the announcement regarding the recovery in a statement to the press. Output had previously declined by roughly 35,000 barrels due to the ports’ instability – which now appears to be restored.
"We are working very hard to reach 800,000 barrels by the end of April 2017, and, God willing, we will reach 1.1 million barrels next August," NOC Chairman Mustafa Sanalla said in the release.
The Es Sider and Ras Lanuf ports had been in the hands of the NOC in Tripoli since Khalifa Haftar’s Libyan National Army (LNA) took captured the area in September.
But, the Benghazi Defense Brigades (BDB) wrested control of the key facilities earlier this month. Reports later showed that the LNA has regained lost ground. Last Tuesday, the LNA claimed to have retaken the country’s key oil ports of Ras Lanuf and Es Sider from the rival faction, and as of later that day, the resurgent group’s soldiers were still in pursuit of a handful of BDB fighters, who were on the run after they lost control of the ports.
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One wing of the NOC in Benghazi has affiliated itself with the BDB’s eastern parliament, which rivals the United Nations’ sanctioned Government of National Accord based in Tripoli. International sanctions have prevented the breakaway wing from managing its oil operations separately.
The BDB claims to have no alliances, but is widely thought to be a radical Islamist faction. The Terrorism Research and Analysis Consortium lists the BDB as an Islamist group formed in opposition to the LNA and consolidating fighters from other factions opposed to General Haftar.
By Zainab Calcuttawala For Oilprice.com
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Zainab Calcuttawala is an American journalist based in Morocco. She completed her undergraduate coursework at the University of Texas at Austin (Hook’em) and reports on…