Libya’s Biggest Oil Field to Resume Pumping by Tomorrow

Libya, holder of Africa’s largest oil reserves, plans to restart production by tomorrow at its biggest field at Sharara while an export terminal in the country’s east remains closed.

The Sharara and Elephant fields in southwestern Libya will resume output after gunmen returned equipment they had stolen from the sites, state-run National Oil Corp. spokesman Mohamed Elharari said by telephone from Tripoli. Crude shipments from the Hariga terminal remain halted, said Ihab Said, an inspector at the facility.

Libya is seeking to restore crude output after more than a year of political unrest and violence. The nation produced 850,000 barrels a day last month, compared with 1.6 million barrels before the 2011 ouster of former leader Muammar Qaddafi, according to Bloomberg estimates.

Sharara was producing 290,000 barrels a day before the latest shutdown, Mansur Abdallah, director of oil movement at the Zawiya refinery and oil port, said Nov. 6. Sharara is 720 kilometers (450 miles) south of Zawiya, and the two sites are connected by a pipeline.

Exports from Hariga have been disrupted for days, Khalifa Mazeg, the port’s measurement inspector, said yesterday.

Libya’s output has recovered after dropping to as little as 215,000 barrels a day in April. The country is split between an Islamist-led administration led by Omar al-Hassi in Tripoli and the internationally-recognized government of Prime Minister Abdullah al-Theni in the eastern city of Tobruk.

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