Libyan Oil Output Recovers, Though Shutdowns In West Continue
(Bloomberg) -- Libya’s oil production rose to 900,000 barrels a day after a major crude pipeline was fixed, the energy minister said, though shutdowns elsewhere are still curtailing output.
The supply boost followed completion of works on a pipeline linking the eastern Samah and Dhuhra fields to the country’s biggest oil port, Es Sider, Mohamed Oun said Sunday in an interview. The maintenance had curbed production by 200,000 barrels a day.
Several western fields, including Sharara, the biggest in the OPEC nation, remain closed, meaning Libya is pumping roughly 350,000 barrels a day less that it was a month ago. Oun didn’t say when he expected them to be reopened.
In mid-December the Petroleum Facilities Guard, a paramilitary force meant to protect energy sites, shut down key oil fields as part of a quarrel over salaries and 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 relative calm. Production rose above 1 million barrels a day in late 2020 and averaged around 1.2 million in 2021.
Any sustained output drop from Libya, which boasts Africa’s biggest reserves, could counter efforts by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its partners to boost supplies.
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