01-09-2018

Libya crude oil output boosted by Amal, As-Sarah fields

Libya’s crude oil production edged up again this week, with increased output from two smaller fields in the east of the country, sources said Friday.

With all its oil terminals currently open, the country’s crude output has climbed to over two-month highs of around 1 million b/d.
Two more eastern oil fields — Amal and As-Sarah — are also back contributing to Libya’s exports. Crudes from both fields are blended into the Amna crude stream which is shipped from Libya’s Ras Lanuf oil terminal.

A spokesman from Germany’s Wintershall which operates the As-Sarah field confirmed output was gradually ramping up.

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“End of August we were able to start up production in C96 [oil block] again with a capacity of up to 50,000 b/d. Production volumes are still depending on availability of external export pipelines and capacity of loading terminals,” the spokesman said.

Harouge Oil Operations, a joint venture of state-owned National Oil Corp. and PetroCanada, raised output from the Amal field to 25,000 b/d, sources said.

The field had been producing at just 8,000 b/d due to maintenance in July and August, the sources added.

The Ras Lanuf terminal was only receiving 30,000 b/d of crude as of Saturday, compared to 125,000 b/d in January to May this year.

But a number of its crude storage tanks were destroyed during fighting in June over Libya’s eastern oil ports, leaving just four intact. The limited storage capacity could prove a key constraint on exports.

The last tanker to load from Ras Lanuf was the Stemnitsa, which sailed Thursday and is currently heading to the Italian port of Trieste, according to S&P Global Platts trade flow software cFlow.

Wintershall, the operator of the NC-96 and NC-97 blocks, which includes As-Sarah, has been locked in a dispute with NOC since the beginning of 2017 over the terms of its contract.

The situation was complicated last November by Wintershall being forced to shut the As-Sarah field due to protests. It was only re-opened in late-January.

A representative at Harouge could not be reached for comment.

Source: Platts

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