Libya looks to divert eastern crude export flows to other marine terminals

Libya’s National Oil Corp. hopes to divert some of its stranded crude supplies to other oil export terminals after attacks forced the closure of two key eastern ports.

Libya’s crude output has halved from around 950,000 b/d in May after armed clashes between rival militia groups at key export terminals last Thursday.

“Production is low, unfortunately. We lost 450,000 b/d just due to the crisis in Es Sider and Ras Lanuf, and we lost another huge quantity from the AGOCO fields due to technical issues”, NOC chairman Mustafa Sanalla told journalists in Vienna Wednesday.

Sanalla said the company was working to divert some of its crude to other eastern export terminals to make up for the losses, although that was expected to take some time.

The most likely alternative would be the nearby Brega and Zueitina terminals. Along with Ras Lanuf and Es Sider, these also serve the Sirte basin, a collection of oil and gas fields in central and eastern Libya that account for around 650,000 b/d, roughly two-thirds of the country’s total production.

Libya had been exporting at just over 800,000 b/d in May, with around 200,000 b/d from Es Sider and 150,000 b/d from Ras Lanuf, one Libya source estimated. Brega and Zueitina accounted for around 100,000 b/d combined.

Two storage tanks at Ras Lanuf were set on fire during the attacks, one of which collapsed. The terminal had five operational storage tanks storing up to 950,000 barrels. That figure has been cut to just 550,000 barrels, and there was a risk of further damage to other tanks if the fires spread.

While upstream production has not been directly impacted by fighting between rival militias, the lack of storage space has meant exports from the two main terminals cannot continue, even if security improves.

Source: Platts

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