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Libya’s Oilfields Could Be Reopening Soon

Libya’s oilfields are expected to reopen soon, after militias have agreed to lift the siege on oil facilities, Parliament-backed Libyan Prime Minister Fathi Bashagha, who was elected in February, said on Twitter late on Tuesday.

The efforts of the Libyan Parliament and government “were crowned with success,” said Bashagha, who is in a power struggle with Abdul Hamid Dbeibah, who has refused to stand down as prime minister after Parliament voted in and swore in Bashagha earlier this year.

Libyan oilfields and terminals have again been under blockade in recent weeks amid protests, clashes, and disputes over the distribution of oil revenues in the country with two rival governments, with incumbent Dbeibah refusing to step down for newly sworn-in eastern Prime Minister Bashagha.

Both rival governments have reportedly reached out to militias to try to persuade them to drop the blockades on oil export terminals and oilfields.

As of early on Wednesday, the National Oil Corporation (NOC) of Libya had not issued any official statement about an imminent reopening of blockaded oil infrastructure.  

The oil minister in Dbeibah’s government, Mohamed Oun, told Bloomberg that talks were still ongoing about lifting the blockades.

“We are facing some difficulties in reaching an agreement with protesters to reopen the oil,” Oun wrote in a text message to Bloomberg hours before Bashaga tweeted about the reopening, for which he did not provide a timeline.

Libya expects to open all its oil loading terminals after it sets up a mechanism for a fair distribution of the country’s oil revenues among the regions, Parliament Speaker Aqila Saleh told U.S. ambassador and Special Envoy to Libya, Richard Norland, Benghazi-based news outlet The Libya Update reported earlier this week.

In April, Libya loaded just 819,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude from its ports, down from nearly 1 million in March and the lowest volume since October 2020, per tanker-tracking data that Bloomberg is monitoring.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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