Libya moves to reopen oilfields, ports but checking safety first

Libya moves to reopen oilfields, ports but checking safety first

Libya’s state National Oil Corporation (NOC) says it is preparing to resume oil exports as engineers and workers gradually return to their workplaces at some fields and ports.

The gradual return of engineers is “a first step toward resuming production operations at Brega and Harika ports,” the company said in a statement.

It, however, added that resumption of work at other ports will depend on how safe they are.

Last week, Khalifa Haftar, who leads the eastern-based forces, ended his loyalists’ months-long blockade of oil facilities.

His followers had shut down the country’s oilfields and terminals since January to put pressure on their rivals, the Tripoli-based government recognised by the UN.Libya moves to reopen oilfields, ports but checking safety first Libya's state National Oil Corporation (NOC) says it is preparing to resume oil exports as engineers and workers gradually return to their workplaces at some fields and ports.

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Tankers are scheduled to arrive on Wednesday and crude oil to be loaded in them during the next 72 hours, the NOC said.

Total production is expected to reach about 260,000 barrels per day during the next week, it added.

Read Also: Trade balance moderate 4.8% as imports accelerate

The country produced more than 1 million barrels per day earlier in January. The blockade caused severe losses, of up to 10 billion dollars.

On Sunday, the company said operations resumed at the Sirte oil and gas fields.

Libya, where oil exports are the main source of national income, has been in turmoil since a 2011 revolt toppled long-time dictator Muammar Gaddafi.

The move is however expected to increase oil supply in the global market, thus could force price down.

Already, United States inventories has maintained balance, which could mean pressure on demand following a storm around Gulf of Mexico.

Oil futures were little changed on Tuesday after sharp overnight losses, as the latest tropical storm in the Gulf of Mexico lost strength.

But worries about fuel demand persisted with flare-ups around the globe in coronavirus cases.

Brent crude futures edged three cents 0.1 per cent, lower to $41.41 a barrel at 0637 GMT thus, reversing earlier small gains.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures for October, due to expire on Tuesday, slipped four cents or 0.1 per cent to $39.27 a barrel.

The more active November contract shed three cents or 0.1 per cent to $39.51.

Libya moves to reopen oilfields, ports but checking safety first

VIAJulius Alagbe
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