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Libya's Meager Crude Oil Exports Set To Plunge In August

With Libya's conflict escalating, the country's crude oil exports are set to be just 1.2 million barrels in August, a 40-percent plunge from July, Bloomberg reported, citing an initial loading program it has seen.

This month, two terminals in the country holding Africa's largest crude oil reserves are set to ship a cargo of 600,000 barrels each, according to the program Bloomberg has seen.

Most of Libya's oil terminals and facilities are closed amid an ongoing civil war in the country, with violent clashes erupting between armed groups in Libya's Oil Crescent.

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Currently, oil production in the country is around 100,000 barrels per day (bpd). This figure is dramatically down from 1.2 million bpd at the start of the year, just before paramilitary formations affiliated with the Libyan National Army (LNA) of eastern Libyan strongman General Khalifa Haftar occupied Libya's oil export terminals and oilfields.

Early in June, Libya's National Oil Corporation (NOC) resumed production at the 300,000-bpd Sharara oilfield after negotiating the opening of an oilfield valve that had been closed since January. But just a day later, Sharara shuttered again, after an armed force had told the workers in the field to stop working.  

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Last week, NOC said that it "is deeply concerned about the continuing militarization of its oil facilities and the heavy presence of foreign mercenaries at various oil fields and ports in the east and south of the country."

The presence of mercenaries at the Ras Lanuf petrochemical complex, the Zueitina oil port, and the Zallah field "are a threat and may lead to the destruction of the Libyan people's sole source of revenue," the Libyan oil firm said.  

A few days earlier, NOC's chairman Mustafa Sanalla said that "The illegal oil blockade has had disastrous effects on our national economy and damaged the living standards of Libyans. Our reservoirs are suffering permanent damage, and stagnant fluids are corroding our pipelines, which will cost us huge amounts to repair. We urge all Libyan parties to do everything possible to restart oil production as soon as possible to avoid further damage."   

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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