Wednesday, 20 August 2014
Libya: Oil exports resume from Ras Lanuf and Es-Sider
Oil exports finally resumed this week from the eastern port of Ras Lanuf following one year of closure. On 12 August, a 670,000 barrel cargo left the port for Italy. The shipment was chartered by Austria’s OMV who told a press conference this week that the cargo was on its way to Trieste to supply its refinery in Burghausen.
OMV also announced that output at its Libya operations was rising with a third quarter average of around 12,000 b/d. Although this is still some way off the much higher levels that the company was producing before the revolution, it is still a positive step given the challenges of the past year.
In other good news, the NOC spokesman, Mohamed Al-Harari, announced on 17 August that the port of Es-Sider was also set to resume exports. Al-Harari told the media that a tanker was due to arrive at the port and that it would be loading a cargo comprising 600,000 barrels of oil “within the coming days”.
Although both ports were handed over to the government in early July, following the implementation of the April 2014 deal agreed between the head of the politburo of the Cyrenaican Transitional Council Ibrahim Jedhran and the acting government, it has taken until now for Libya to find buyers.
Given Libya’s deteriorating security situation, few buyers were willing to take on the additional risk. However, the NOC reportedly dropped prices in order to attract buyers and to offset the risk and this strategy appears to have worked. This is good news for Libya and its energy sector, which has been hit with crisis after crisis over this past year.
For more news and expert analysis about Libya, please see Libya Focus and Libya Politics & Security.
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