Libya ‘confirms’ oil production back to pre-blockade levels
Libya’s National Oil Corporation said the company’s oil production had reached the pre-force majeure level of 1.2 million barrels per day.
Libya’s oil production has returned to the volume recorded before a months-long blockade that crippled the economy, official sources said.
“We are pleased to report that our production rates have reached pre-force majeure levels” of 1.2 million barrels per day, Libya’s National Oil Corporation said on Twitter on Sunday.
Oil and Gas Minister Mohammed Aoun told AFP news agency that he “confirms” that production has returned to that level.
On July 15, Libya’s new oil chief lifted force majeure on all the country’s oilfields and export terminals as groups besieging several facilities ended a blockade that had begun in mid-April.
Force majeure is a legal measure allowing companies to free themselves from their contractual obligations in the face of circumstances beyond their control.
The NOC, vital to Libya’s oil-rich economy, has repeatedly resorted to the mechanism amid blockades of oil facilities during years of violence and political upheaval following the NATO-backed revolt that overthrew and killed dictator Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.
Libya lifts force majeure in all oil fields
Conflict in recent years has largely pitted authorities in the capital Tripoli against a camp in the east.
As the country’s divided power struggled for authority, groups close to the eastern camp blocked six oil fields and export terminals due to demands for a “more equitable distribution” of hydrocarbon revenues.
Oil production fell to around 400,000 barrels of crude per day during the blockade from mid-April to mid-July.
Western diplomatic sources said the eastern-based camp had agreed to reopen the facilities in exchange for a share of oil revenues to be spent in areas under their control.
The deal, which has not been officially confirmed, also saw the Tripoli-based government of Prime Minister Abdulhamid Dbeibah replace veteran NOC leader Mustafa Sanalla with Farhat Bengdara.
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