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Libya Oil Output Surges as Fields Reopen

  • Reuters

A general view of the port and Zawiya Oil Refinery, west of the city of Tripoli, Libya, Aug. 22, 2013.

A general view of the port and Zawiya Oil Refinery, west of the city of Tripoli, Libya, Aug. 22, 2013.

Libya's crude oil production has recovered to nearly 40 percent of its pre-war capacity with exports set to rise as major western fields ramped up output after protesters agreed to reopen them.

Output has risen to 620,000 barrels per day (bpd), compared with its pre-war capacity of 1.6 million bpd, two state National Oil Corp (NOC) officials said on Wednesday.

Libyan Prime minister Ali Zeidan said on Tuesday that the worst disruption to its main industry was costing around $130 million a day in revenues.

Finance Minister Alkilani Abdelkarim al-Jazi warned that the country could start dipping into financial reserves from next month if prolonged protests crippling the oil sector were not resolved.

Output from the El Sharara field has reached about 300,000 bpd day and El Feel has hit 70,000 bpd, Mustafa Sanalla, executive board member at NOC said.

The fields re-opened earlier this week after being closed since Aug. 27 when an armed group switched off pipeline valves connecting them to the ports.

After the lifting of force majeure at the Mellitah ports, NOC was able to issue a oil sell tender for 1.2 million barrels of very light oil, not the usual Mellitah blend, but a fresh source of revenue.

The restart of El Sharara will also liberate Brega oil for exports from the eastern Marsa al Brega port, as it will no longer be needed as a stop-gap for the Zawiya refinery.

Another Libyan oil official added that El Sharara was expected to reach full capacity of around 330,000 bpd by Thursday while output from the El Feel field would reach 90,000 bpd over the next few days as workers were still trying to get the water injection units going.

Output was also coming from Sirte Oil Co. in the east and the offshore Bouri and Al Jurf platforms while Arabian Gulf Oil Co. production has risen to around 60,000 bpd after the Hamada field resumed adding to existing Mesla output at 50,000 bpd, the official said.

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