Libya Managing Scant Oil Output As Fighting Shuts Major Ports

Output from Libya remains at a fraction of the 1.6 million barrels a day it produced prior to the 2011 ouster of leader Muammar Gaddafi.



Libya is producing 128,000 barrels of oil a day from fields connected to far eastern port of Hariga, an oil official said on Monday, while fighting halts work at major ports Es Sider and Ras Lanuf.

Output from the OPEC member nation remains at a fraction of the 1.6 million barrels a day it produced prior to the 2011 ouster of leader Muammar Gaddafi.

Its two largest ports, Es Sider and Ras Lanuf, have stopped working due to clashes between forces allied to Libya’s internationally recognised government and those loyal to a rival group called Libya Dawn which seized control of Tripoli in August.

Several oil storage tanks at Es Sider have been on fire for days after clashes there. Fire had destroyed more than two days of the country’s production, officials said on Sunday.

Forces allied to Libya Dawn launched an offensive aimed at seizing the port two weeks ago, triggering retaliatory air strikes on their western base, Misrata.

Es Sider is fed from fields run by Waha Oil Co, a joint-venture between Libya’s National Oil Corp with U.S. companies Hess, Marathon and ConocoPhillips .

The western ports of Zawiya and Mellitah have also halted oil exports as the conflict has shut down the connecting fields of El Sharara and El Feel.

The port of Brega, east of Ras Lanuf, is still open but its crude mostly supplies the Zawiya refinery.

Hariga, located in the east near the Egyptian border, has been spared the fighting seen in much of the country as brigades of former rebels who battled side by side to oust Gaddafi now compete for political power and a share of Libya’s oil revenues.