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Libya’s El Feel oilfield resumed production on Tuesday, according to Libya’s National Oil Corporation, after being shut in for nearly three months.
The initial capacity for El Feel is 40,000 barrels per day, according to NOC.
The 40,000 bpd rate has already been achieved today. When all the wells have been placed back into production, El Feel should return to its normal rate of 70,000 bpd. The El Feel field is operated in partnership with Italy’s Eni.
The El Feel oilfield was closed in mid-April as protests against Libya’s Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibah made it impossible to continue. Production from El Feel was disrupted in March after a “gang” led by Mohammed al-Bashir closed some valves, according to Argus. El Feel was also shut in for nearly a month starting in mid-December last year by the Petroleum Facilities Guard.
The return of a portion of Libya’s oil production comes at a critical time for the oil markets—and at a time when OPEC is failing to reach its production targets while the West prods the group to turn on the taps. The instability in Libya has caused the country’s crude oil production to fall to just 629,000 bpd as of June—the latest data available from OPEC, from the more than million barrels per day on average that Libya produced last year.
Libya also said on Tuesday that it would begin loading oil for export on Wednesday after the force majeure was lifted following the battle for control of the National Oil Corporation last week.
As of June 30th, Libya was exporting between 365,000 and 409,000 barrels per day—down from 865,000 bpd before the force majeure was declared in April, according to NOC data cited by S&P Platts.
By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com
Julianne Geiger is a veteran editor, writer and researcher for Oilprice.com, and a member of the Creative Professionals Networking Group.