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Libya Resumes Exporting Crude Oil

(Author: Libyan Gazette Editorial Staff)

Libya’s crude oil production increased over 70 percent since last month after the reopening of a few oil fields and oil ports which were closed for the last two years.

On Tuesday, Ibrahim Al-Awami, the head of oil measurement department at Libya’s National Oil Corporation (NOC), said production rose by 450,000 barrels per day.

Clashes between forces loyal to rival political powers has slowed down the progress being made to reopen oil ports and resume exports.

Information gathered by Bloomberg shows that oil production in Libya went down to 260,000 barrels per day in August.

Seadelta, the tanker that was forced to flee the Ras Lanuf port after fighting broke out earlier this week, has returned to load its shipment of oil, said Nasser Delaab, a petroleum operations inspector for Harouge Oil Operations.

It will be the first shipment to depart from Ras Lanuf since 2014. Harouge is also taking oil from the Amal field, pumping 3,500 barrels per day, and it will be taking crude oil from the Zueitina port, said Delaab.

The crude oil loaded on the Seadelta will be sold in an oversupplied market. Crude oil is being traded at half its levels from 2014.

Benchmark Brent crude, which is what crude oil buyers use as a reference, declined on Tuesday by 1.6 percent, selling at $45.24 a barrel.

Before the rise of civil unrest in Libya in 2011, the country was pumping 1.6 million barrels of crude per day.

Ras Lanuf is expecting another tanker called Syra to ship 600,000 barrels of crude oil to be sent to Italy, according to Delaab. Bloomberg reports that Syra was near the port on Tuesday.

Libya’s Arabian Gulf Oil Co. increased its production from 145,000 to 215,000 barrels per day when the force majeure was lifted from exports coming from Zueitina, said Omran al-Zwai spokesperson for Agoco.

Harouge stopped its oil production in 2014 due to ongoing clashes between various militia groups, said Delaab. Harouge will resume production from the five oil fields that it has rights to now that the situation has somewhat stabilized.

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