Libya’s Oil Output Rebounds as Militias Reopen Biggest Field
(Bloomberg) -- Libya’s oil production has recovered to 1 million barrels a day after militias ended a three-week blockade of several western fields, including the nation’s biggest, according to people familiar with the matter.
Government officials reached a deal with a paramilitary force known as the Petroleum Facilities Guard, the people said on Monday. The PFG is meant to protect energy facilities but in recent years has closed some of them to press salary and political demands. In December, the group shut pipelines taking oil from Sharara, Libya’s biggest field, and others to ports.
The agreement, the details of which haven’t been disclosed publicly, will also lead to output resuming at El Feel, Hamada and El Wafa, the people said. The shutdowns across the four fields lowered the OPEC member’s crude output by about 350,000 barrels a day.
The PFG’s move led state-owned National Oil Corp. to halt exports from the ports of Zawiya and Melittah. It was unclear if the NOC had ended the force majeures.
Exports from most of the country’s other ports are suspended this week because of bad weather.
The shutdowns by the PFG came as political tensions rise. A presidential election was meant to be held on Dec. 24, but was delayed as disputes over the eligibility of candidates threaten to sow fresh turmoil in a country that’s been in conflict or civil war for much of the past decade.
Prior to the closures, Libya’s oil sector was experiencing a period of calm. Production rose above 1 million barrels a day in late 2020 and averaged around 1.2 million in 2021.
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