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Libya to resume oil production after a long shutdown

Image Credit: Esam Omran al-Fetori/ Reuters

The Libyan National Oil Company (NOC) announced on Friday, that it is set to restart oil production, after 6 months of shutdown due to conflict in the country.

The company spokesman in a statement said, ‘The NOC has lifted force majeure on all oil exports from Libya.’

They added that it will take some time for the production to return to January levels.

‘The increase in production will take a long time due to the significant damage to the reservoirs and infrastructure caused by the illegal blockade imposed on January 17th.’

The oil production from the company was halted on January by groups loyal to Haftar, during its offensive to capture the capital. The group demands evenly distribution of the oil revenues from Tripoli.

Haftar’s Libyan National Army (LAC) is supported by Egypt, United Arab Emirates and Russia, while Pro-GNA forces that currently rule Tripoli are supported by United Nations and several other countries.

An oil tanker will start loading crude oil soon in the port of Al-Sidra. Oil revenues is the main source of income of Libya. It used to produce around 1.22 million barrels per day before January, but this will probably drop to 650,000 bpd due to damage to the infrastructure.

The losses of the shutdown amounts to around $6.5 billion.

On 1st July, NOC claimed that negotiations were underway, ‘between the GNA, NOC and regional countries who stand behind this blockade’ to restart production.

This year GNA managed, with Turkish backing, to regain control most of the Northwest Libya, pushing back the LNA, after a 14 month assault on the capital. The LNA is still in control of the East and South, areas where there is the most oil fields and export terminals.

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