Military Conflicts Close 2 Oil Ports in Libya

Military conflicts have forced two of Libya’s oil ports to close, negatively impacting the country’s crude exports, Bloomberg reported

In a fight against Khalifa Haftar’s force called Libyan National Army, the Islamist Benghazi militia seized the ports of Es Sidra and Ras Lanuf on March 3.

Consequently, Libya’s oil production reportedly dropped to 650,000 barrels a day from around 700,000 barrels a couple of days ago.

Oil shipments from the two terminals have been halted until security improves, Bloomberg cited Jadalla Alaokali, a board member of the country’s National Oil Corporation (NOC), as saying.

Crude loadings are likely to be rescheduled at the two ports and transferred to other ports such as Brega and Zueitina.

Mustafa Sanalla, Chairman of NOC, said in a statement that the country’s oil sector must not be “a political bargaining chip”, and urged all sides to refrain from conflict over oil infrastructure.

“Our objective is to maximize production and oil revenues and we made good progress in the last few months in recovering production levels and increasing exports, which are national priorities. We are against any actions that could damage the oil infrastructure in the country including oil fields, pipelines, ports, plants and other petroleum facilities,” Sanalla pointed out.

In the second half of 2016, oil exports from Libya’s blocked ports resumed after the Petroleum Facilities Guards (PFG) and the Government of National Accord (GNA) agreed to reopen the ports, Ras Lanuf, Zueitina, and Es Sidra that PFG had been blockading due to a pay dispute.

World Maritime News Staff

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