Libya’s crude oil production has fallen by about 300,000 bpd since the start of this month on the back of oil export terminal shutdowns amid harsh weather and full storage tanks, Kallanish Energy reports, citing a statement from the National Oil Corporation.
Libya has been suffering severe rainfall that closed all its oil export terminals along with roads and the airport in Benghazi, Reuters reported earlier this week. Flooding and high waves on the coast made the docking of tankers impossible, stranding more oil in storage.
Earlier in the week, a source close to NOC told S&P Global Platts the oil terminals shutdown and the limited storage capacity would reduce production by half that much. Storage capacity is critically full at the Zawiya terminal, which serves the Sharara oil field, according to the source, who added that production at Sharara is expected to be reduced by 50 percent as of Thursday morning local time. This is Libya’s largest producing field.
The storage capacity problem surfaces as Libya tries to ramp up production closer to pre-war levels. As of November, the North African country pumped crude at a rate of a little over 1 million bpd. Libya hopes to score an exemption from the OPEC-wide oil production cuts that are currently being discussed with Russia in Vienna as it seeks to boost its oil revenues after years of civil war that has crippled its oil-dependent economy.
OPEC’s intention to resume cutting came at the wrong time for Libya, which earlier this year suffered several production outages and in July output fell to just 660,000 bpd of crude thanks to field and pipeline blockades and clashes between LNA and opposing groups at the oil terminals. Just a month earlier, its production had fallen to half a million bpd. As of late November, Libya was producing 1.3 million bpd and plans were to boost this to 1.6 million bpd.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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