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There has been no change in crude oil production in Libya following an Islamic State attack on the headquarters of the National Oil Corporation this week, Reuters reports, citing the company.
Two NOC employees were killed and 25 were wounded in Monday’s attack that was carried out by seven gunmen. Three of the gunmen were also killed. Islamic State took responsibility for the attack later via its news agency. The attack, the statement said, aimed at the “economic interests of oppressing governments funding crusaders.”
The terrorist group has been more or less rooted out of Libya, but cells still remain. This is certainly not good news as factional violence is on the rise despite a recent ceasefire brokered by the UN. Earlier this week, rockets were fired at the Tripoli airport, causing flights to be diverted.
Earlier this year, clashes for control of the oil-exporting terminals in the Oil Crescent led to the suspension of most oil production in the country. As the Libyan National Army in July once again regained control of two terminals attacked by rival factions, it sided with the alternative NOC affiliated with the eastern Libyan government, which is not recognized by the UN. As a result, the legitimate NOC declared force majeure on crude oil loadings from two oil terminals, which effectively removed 850,000 bpd from the country’s production.
A month later, after the blockade was lifted and the LNA agreed to work with NOC again, production had recovered and even increased to more than 1 million bpd. Still, Libya’s oil fields remain vulnerable to all sorts of attacks and blockades, such as the June kidnapping of four oilfield workers at the largest field in the country, Sharara. The kidnapping led to the shut-in of production of more than 200,000 bpd.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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Irina is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.