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Libya’s Zueitina Port Resumes Oil Exports With Cargo

Libya’s Zueitina port re-opened for crude exports, with a ship scheduled to load 700,000 barrels of the Abu Attifel grade, according to two people with direct knowledge of the matter.

The loading period is from Feb. 5 to Feb. 7, according to the people, who declined to be identified because the information isn’t public. The shipment had been delayed by bad weather and would mark the first crude export from the port since it was closed at the end of last year, said one of the people, who is based in Tripoli.

The Zueitina port and pipeline pumping complex halted operations in late December because protesters prevented employees from going to their offices, leading state-run National Oil Corp. to suspend pumping crude into a pipeline.

The Oil Ministry will end the Zueitina siege and resume pumping crude “very soon” to the terminal’s export tanks, NOC said in a Jan. 20 statement on its website, citing Deputy Oil Minister Omar Shakmak.

The terminal handled about 150,000 barrels of exports a day in 2010, according to data from the U.S. Energy Department. Shipments were disrupted by the civil conflict in 2011 that ousted the government of Muammar Qaddafi and recovered again last year as the oil industry started to get back to normal.

Libya’s oil production dipped last month to 1.1 million barrels a day, from December’s level of 1.43 million, in part because of the Zueitina protests, according to a Jan. 31 Bloomberg survey of producers and analysts.

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