Libya Says Oil Exports From Brega Resume as Protests Ease

Libyan oil exports resumed from Brega, one of four ports where force majeure was declared last week, as protests that have shut the facilities since the end of July eased, according to officials in Tripoli.

The tanker Vallesina departed two days ago for Italy with 630,000 barrels of Brega-grade crude, Ibrahim Al Awami, the oil ministry’s director of measurement, said in a telephone interview. Deputy Oil Minister Omar Shakmak confirmed by phone that it’s the first export from Brega since the Aug. 22 lifting of the force majeure.

The other terminals where force majeure was declared on Aug. 18, Es Sider, the North African nation’s largest, Ras Lanuf and Zueitina, remain shut, Awami said. The oil port of Hariga, on the far eastern side of the country, hasn’t resumed exports even though National Oil didn’t include it in the list of facilities that weren’t operating.

Brega may add about 90,000 barrels a day to Libya’s current shipments of 500,000 barrels a day, which go through the through the western terminal of Zawiya and the offshore loading platforms of Mellitah, Al Jurf and Bouri.

Two other ships called at Brega since Aug. 22, loading urea and methanol cargos, Awami said.

Corruption Allegations

Protests over pay and corruption allegations by members of the Petroleum Facilities Guards curtailed the North African nation’s output to less than half the 1.6 million barrel-a-day level pumped before the 2011 revolution that ousted Muammar Qaddafi. The nation is currently pumping about 700,000 barrels of crude a day, according to the ministry’s Awami.

The shutdowns affected companies operating in the eastern and central regions such as Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Marathon Oil Corp., Hess Corp. and ConocoPhillips, according to Bloomberg Industries analysis. The actions also cut oil refining operations to 40 percent of Libya’s installed capacity of 380,000 barrels a day.

The nation now has three of its five refineries in operation, with a combined processing capacity of 150,000 barrels a day, Awami said. The Zawiya refinery, Libya’s second-largest, is operating with a capacity of 120,000 barrels a day while Ras Lanuf, the largest with a daily capacity of 220,000 barrels, is shut, he said.

(Corrects to say Awami works at oil ministry in second, sixth paragraphs.)
Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.