By Anna Nicklin
After a two year long blockade of a major oil pipeline, as reported by the Libya Observer, the Rayayna Patrols Brigade of the Petroleum Facilities Guard have agreed to reopen the Rayayna pipeline, which can transport over 400 000 bpd of oil.
“The National Oil Corporation (NOC) should start its work as soon as possible and we, as the Petroleum Facilities Guard, pledge to protect and defend the wealth of the Libyan state,” a statement issued by the armed group said.
The key pipeline carries oil to terminals in western Libya from the Al-Sharara and Al-Feel oilfields. Both of the oilfields could restart production in the very near future, highlighted security officials on 13 December. Reuters has reported that reopening the fields could add 365 000 bpd to Libya’s production.
According to the NOC, stoppage of the two oilfields and pipeline has resulted in losses of $US27 billion.
The NOC plans to raise production to 900 000 bpd in the near future, later raising this figure to 1.1 million bpd in 2017. However, while a NOC source confirmed the deal, they also highlighted that resumption of production is not guaranteed since similar pledges have fallen through in the past. Without these pipelines, the NOC’s goals most likely will not be reached.
Reuters added that while Libya’s national output has doubled since September of this year (to approximately 600 000 bpd) after blockades at major ports were lifted. However, this figure is much less than the 1.6 million bpd that Libya was producing before its 2011 uprising.
Anna Nicklin joined Palladian Publications in July 2016 as an Editorial Assistant for World Pipelines magazine.