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Libya is set to export even less crude oil in July than it did in June, while its state oil firm continues negotiations to end the blockade that has been stifling exports since January.
According to a preliminary loading program seen by Bloomberg, Libya is expected to export this month just two tankers full of 600,000 barrels of crude each, for a total of 1.2 million barrels of crude oil for the whole month of July. This month’s exports will be lower than the 1.8 million barrels which Libya shipped for the entire month of June.
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.
Russian and other foreign mercenaries entered the Sharara oilfield to prevent the resumption of oil production at the largest Libyan oilfield, NOC said at the end of June.
A few days later, NOC confirmed that force majeure continues at the Hariga, Brega, Zueitina, Es Sider, and Ras Lanuf ports, but there are talks on lifting the blockade.
NOC “has issued instructions to all operating companies on 20 June 2020 to start preparing for the resumption of operations, in light of ongoing negotiations between the GNA, NOC and regional countries who stand behind this blockade,” the company said.
“NOC confirms there have been ongoing negotiations to resume oil production over the past several weeks with the between the GNA, NOC and regional countries, under the supervision of the UN and the US,” the company said in a separate statement last week.
By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com
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Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com