Libyan oil output rises to 562,000 barrels a day

20 August 2014

El-Sider oil terminal set to export first shipment of crude after militants took control in July 2013

Libya’s oil output has risen to 562,000 barrels a day according to the country’s state-owned oil company National Oil Corporation (NOC).

Exports have seen a steady increase since May when output fell to around 100,000 barrels a day as protests by armed groups at a number of ports and oil fields disrupted operations.

Recent gains in output have come in the wake of a deal with the group that was occupying the terminals.

Rebels ended their occupation of the ports with a handover ceremony on 2 July at the port of Ras Lanuf, attended by rebel leader Ibrahim Jathran and acting Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thani.

Libya lifted force majeure from El-Sider and Ras Lanuf in early July and on Tuesday 19 August Libya’s NOC announced that workers were about to start loading a tanker with crude at El-Sider.

When it departs it will be the first tanker to leave the port with a shipment of crude since the government lost control of the terminal in July 2013.

The gains in oil exports have come amid increased fighting in both Tripoli, and the country’s second city, Benghazi.

Dozens have been killed and thousands have been displaced in the latest round of militia warfare that started in the capital on 13 July.

The fighting in Tripoli has escalated over recent days with heavy shelling and airstrikes on militia positions from military jets.

Though they have seen a significant increase, exports remain a long way below the 1.4m barrels that was shipped out before the oil terminals were seized by militant groups in July 2013 and the declining security situation is heightening concerns that the moderate bounce back in exports may be short-lived.

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