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The gates of Harouge oil terminal in Ras Lanuf on July 6, 2012/AFP

World

Libya resumes oil exports from one eastern terminal

The gates of Harouge oil terminal in Ras Lanuf on July 6, 2012/AFP

The gates of Harouge oil terminal in Ras Lanuf on July 6, 2012/AFP

TRIPOLI, Aug 22 – Libya’s National Oil Company announced a resumption of exports from the Brega terminal in the east, allowing it to partially lift from Thursday a declaration of force majeure.

But the Zueitina, Ras Lanuf, Al-Sedra terminals remained blockaded by striking security guards in a dispute over allegations of corruption in oil sales.

The state owned NOC declared force majeure at all its main terminals in the east on Wednesday in a major blow to an industry that accounts for virtually all of the North African nation’s foreign exchange earnings.

Force majeure exonerates the NOC from its responsibilities in case it breaches contracts to supply oil, if it invokes exceptional circumstances.

The company said the resumption of exports from Brega had been coordinated with the terminal’s guards.

The government has been locked in a stand off since late July with oil facility guards, who accuse the authorities of corruptly selling crude in excess of documented cargoes.

Their blockade caused production to plummet from 1.42 million barrels per day to 330,000 bpd before rising again to 670,000 bpd.

The government has accused the striking guards in turn of trying to sell oil on the black market and has warned it will resort to force to prevent illegal loadings.

Libya is almost entirely dependent on oil and gas for its foreign exchange earnings, with hydrocarbons accounting for more than 80 percent of its GNP and up to 97 percent of its exports.

 

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