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Explosion at Oilfield Results in Decreased OIl Production in Libya

(Author: Libyan Gazette Editorial Staff)

Oil production decreased to 523,000 barrels a day, said Mustafa Sanalla, the chairman of Libya’s National Oil Corporation, on Wednesday.

Sanalla said oil production is likely to recover and even reach 600,000 barrels a day by Thursday.

Oil production was interrupted when work at Al-Dafa and Samah oil fields halted because of an explosion at Al-Lahib oilfield, said Sanallah in a press statement. Both oil fields are operated by Al-Waha Oil Company.

“Electric faults caused the drop of the oil output in addition to the explosion that took place in the control room at Al-Lahib oilfield that is run by Sirte Oil Company,” Sanallah said, adding that the situation is now under control and that the situation will be further investigated.

“Production could rise gradually starting from today or Thursday.” he said.

The explosion, which took place Tuesday evening at Al-Lahib oilfield, resulted in one of the workers getting second degree burns and the collapse of a wall in the control room.

According to Sanalla, the aim is to raise oil production to 900,000 bpd by the end of the year and to 1.1 million bpd by next year.

The last time Libya’s oil industry was operating at full capacity was five years ago, and only recently was the NOC able to reopen the country’s major oil ports to resume oil production and exports.

Libya is making its way ”toward economic revival” however, ongoing clashes continue to put oil facilities at risk of being attacked again, said Sanalla in a previous statement.

Before the 2011 uprising, Libya was producing around 1.6 million barrels per day. However, as the violence in the oil rich country escalated, oil fields and ports were shut down as vying militia groups attempted to take possession of the country’s main source of revenue.

The escalating violence put the oil fields and ports under force majeure, which legally prevents a group from being held liable when the situation is out of their hands.

Force majeure for Zueitina oil port, along with Es Sider and Ras Lanuf oil ports, was lifted by the NOC on September 14 when a deal was agreed upon by the state oil company and Haftar, who forcefully took possession of the oil facilities.

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