Crude oil production in Libya jumped nearly threefold from below 100,000 barrels per day last week to around 250,000 bpd now – a week after the blockade on Libya’s oil ports was lifted.
While the restart of Libya’s oil industry and exports are welcome news for the country, which has lost more than US$10 billion in oil revenues due to the blockade, the increased supply from the African OPEC member is weighing on oil prices amid a faltering global oil demand recovery.
As of Monday, Libya’s oil terminals at Hariga, Brega, and Zueitina are open for business and welcoming tankers to ship oil, although the biggest port and the terminal typically exporting the oil from the biggest oilfield in the country are still under force majeure.
The oilfields that supply the crude for the Hariga, Brega, and Zueitina oil terminals are now producing 150,000 bpd more than they did before the blockade was lifted, two sources familiar with the situation told Bloomberg. Tankers are arriving to those three oil ports to load oil and they will make room for more oil from the fields feeding the three terminals. The oilfields are set to further boost their production, Bloomberg’s sources said.
At the start of last week, Libya’s National Oil Corporation (NOC) lifted the force majeure on the Zueitina port after seeing “significant improvement in the security situation that allows the National Oil Corporation (NOC) to resume production and exports to global markets.”
The previous weekend, NOC had lifted the force majeure on the two other oil terminals it considered safe, and said it would restart production from certain fields and some exports of crude oil.
The head of the Libyan National Army (LNA), General Khalifa Haftar, whose troops, with help from affiliated groups, had blockaded Libya’s oil ports in January, announced the end of the blockade on September 18.