Libya has begun pumping crude to its biggest port again a week after it was forced to shut down a worn-out pipeline due to a leak. With the link back online, the country’s output may exceed 1.2 million barrels a day again.
The reopening was announced by the operator of the Es Sider export terminal, Waha Oil company, a subsidiary of the state energy firm National Oil Corporation (NOC). In a statement on Saturday, the operator said that the repairs were finished in “record time,” as it took it seven days to complete them instead of two weeks.
The NOC previously said that its crude output dropped by 200,000 barrels due to the closure of the 32-inch link. After the pipeline was shut down, Waha Oil pumped less than 100,000 barrels a day, but production is set to be restored to normal levels within two days, Bloomberg reported.
This could allow Libya’s oil production to hit levels seen earlier this month – over 1.2 million barrels a day. The recent milestone for the North African country’s oil industry came after force majeure on its largest deposit, the Sharara oilfield, as well as the blockade on oil fields and ports, were lifted.
However, what is obviously good news for the conflict-ridden country could create more hurdles for OPEC, which has been trying to stabilize the energy market by cutting global crude supplies. Libya is a member of the group, but is exempt from the output cuts agreed to by OPEC, allowing it to freely export oil. The additional exports could come at a time when the market has not fully recovered and the rising number of coronavirus cases continues to curb demand.
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