By Tsvetana Paraskova
Libya is returning with more barrels to the market after its biggest oil field started raising production and an export terminal re-opened for tanker loading.
Crude oil output at Sharara–the biggest field in Libya, which is exempt from OPEC cuts–rose to 230,000 bpd on Tuesday—a 30,000 bpd increase just since Sunday, Bloomberg reports, citing an unidentified source familiar with the issue.
In another boost to Libyan oil exports, the Zueitina oil terminal resumed loading, Merhi Abridan, head of the Zueitina workers’ union, told Bloomberg.
The Zueitina oil terminal had ceased loading cargos on Sunday, as port workers protested, demanding better working conditions.
This meant that oil coming from the fields around Zueitina was to be stored at the port for the duration of the protest, and a spike in exports would likely follow.
As of Sunday, Bloomberg sources claim that Sharara’s output had fallen by 100,000 bpd over the past week, to 200,000 bpd. There had been an incident involving the theft at gunpoint of two vehicles property of Repsol, the company operating the field. Following the incident, the company advised workers to stay away from certain areas.
Libya’s National Oil Corporation (NOC) said that it “received on Sunday a written confirmation from Brigadier Ahmed Alal–the Commander of the forces assigned to protect and secure Al Sharara Field—that the incident had been carried out by a lone individual and the field was safe and secure.
In recent months, factional fighting in Libya has abated, allowing the country to restore its crude oil production to over 1 million bpd for the first time in four years.
In July, average production topped 1 million bpd, as per OPEC secondary sources, with Libya raising output by 154,300 bpd from June and accounting for most of the total OPEC production increase.
Tsvetana Paraskova is a writer for the U.S.-based Divergente LLC consulting firm with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.