Libya’s NOC expects oil output to rise to 260,000 b/d in week starting Sept. 27th

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Libya’s state-owned National Oil Corp. expects its production to rise to 260,000 b/d during the week starting Sept. 27 following the lifting of force majeure and the end of an eight-month blockade on its oil infrastructure imposed by the self-styled Libyan National Army.

The first two ports to resume operations will be Marsa el Hariga and Brega and tankers are also set to arrive Sept. 23 to ship stored crude in the coming 72 hours, NOC said in a statement Sept. 21.

The other “safe” ports will resume operations in the coming days as engineers and employees gradually return to oil fields and other secure facilities, it added.

On Sept. 19, NOC lifted the force majeure on crude loadings at “safe” ports where foreign militias are not present. This occurred after the UN-backed Government of National Accord and the LNA agreed to a deal to reopen key oil ports and restart oil production.

On Jan. 18, eastern tribes supported by the LNA halted exports from five oil terminals, sharply reducing the country’s crude production, which hit its lowest since the 2011 civil war.

The force majeure on crude loadings were out of the terminals of Brega, Es Sider, Marsa el-Hariga, Ras Lanuf and Zueitina.

Slow start

Libyan crude production had slumped to 70,000-120,000 b/d in the past few months compared with around 1.10 million b/d before the blockade.

A source told S&P Global Platts on Sept. 21 that Libya’s largest oil field, the 300,000 b/d Sharara, was back online on Sept. 20 but production would be very slow to start due to recent technical problems.

Flows on the pipeline from Sharara to the Zawiya export terminal also resumed on Sept. 21, starting at 50,000 b/d, according to another source.

The nearby 70,000 b/d El Feel, or Elephant, oil field is also poised to restart on Sept. 21, with Zawiya refinery due to reopen operations shortly.

Sources said a Suezmax tanker, Marlin Shikoku, had been chartered this week, to load 1 million barrels of Sarir/Mesla crude from Marsa el Hariga later in the week. This cargo will head to East Asia after loading, and is likely to include storage barrels, they added.

$10 billion losses

The agreement between the GNA and LNA announced Sept. 18 was signed by GNA Deputy Prime Minister Ahmed Maiteeq, but the GNA Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj has not yet publicly backed the deal.

The conflict between the GNA, which is supported by Turkey and Qatar, and the LNA, based in the east and backed by Russia, Egypt, the UAE and Saudi Arabia, has led to $10 billion losses in oil revenue in the war-torn country, according to NOC estimates.

Libya holds Africa’s largest proven reserves of oil and its main light, sweet Es Sider and Sharara export crudes yield a large proportion of gasoline and middle distillates, making them popular with refineries in the Mediterranean and Northwest Europe.


Source: Platts

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