Libyan output falls as clashes force ports to shut

Demonstration in Bayda Libya 2011 07 22Two of Libya's largest oil ports have been forced to shut amid clashes. (Image source: ليبي صح /Commons)Two of Libya's largest oil ports have been forced to shut as clashes threaten the North African nation's oil recovery as daily production falls from 700,000 bpd to 650,000 bpd

According to officials and residents, and reported by Reuters, an armed faction entered a major Libyan oil terminal and a nearby airport on Friday, after attacking forces that have controlled the terminals since September. These ports had been reopened after the Libyan National Army took them over in August 2016. Opponents of the Libyan National Army had launched a number of unsuccessful attacks on the ports in East Libya. 

According to Bloomberg, crude shipments from Es Sider, the nation’s largest oil port, and Ras Lanuf, its third-largest, have been suspended until security improves and workers return to the facilities, Jadalla Alaokali, a board member of Libya’s National Oil Corp., said by phone. The Benghazi Defense Brigades seized the Es Sider terminal on Friday according to reports. 

The clashes jeopardize the surge in Libya’s oil production after output and exports had resumed from Es Sider and other facilities previously blockaded by fighting between armed groups. Production in February was almost double the level of a year earlier, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Libya holds Africa’s largest crude reserves. 

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