Libya’s state oil company NOC said it lifted a force majeure at its largest oil field Sharara after armed groups blocking the facility were removed, at a time with OPEC is curbing oil output to lift prices.
National Oil Corporation (NOC) said the blockage has resulted in a production loss of US$1.8 billion.
Production is expected to resume soon, with regular output to be reached over the coming days. Plans are also in place to repair the 20,000 barrels per day lost production capacity destroyed by looting and vandalism during the blockade.
“Sharara operating company Akakus received written assurance from the Libyan National Army’s Brigadier General Al Rifi Kennah Ahmed Ali, Commander of the Oil Assets Protection Unit, that all individuals subject to Public Prosecutor arrest warrant have been removed from the field and will not be readmitted to site, NOC said in a statement.
Additional security measures for on-site staff are being implemented, with perimeter security and safe ‘green zones’ a priority, it added.
NOC chairman, Eng. Mustafa Sanalla, said: “NOC has received assurances that site security has been restored, verified by our own inspection team, enabling staff to return to work. This costly episode highlights the importance of NOC remaining independent and free from extortion and armed incursion.”
Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and allies agreed to reduce output by 1.2 million barrels a day in the first half of this year to keep inventories from building up.
Libya was exempt from the cuts because of its internal turmoil but its oil production disruptions along with U.S. sanctions on OPEC members Venezuela and Iran restricted supplies further. The producers’ group will meet again in April to discuss whether to continue the supply reductions in the second half.