After the unauthorized closing of a valve on a pipeline linking the country’s largest oil field to an export terminal on the Mediterranean Sea – Libya’s oil production sank to about 950,000 bpd, lowest in last five months.
The Sharara field began shutting down on Tuesday at 10 p.m., four people familiar with the matter said, asking not to be named because the information wasn’t public. The deposit, which can pump about 300,000 bpd, is operated by a joint venture between Libya’s National Oil Corp. and Total SA, Repsol SA, OMV AG, and Equinor ASA.
The NOC declared force majeure on Sharara oil on Wednesday, according to two people familiar with the situation which demanded anonymity because the information isn’t public. Loading at the Zawiya oil port was also discontinued, they stated.
Sharara was also briefly shut, and force majeure introduced about 11 days ago after an unidentified group closed a valve there. An individual confirmed Libya’s current, reduced production figure with data of the situation who lacked the authorization to talk to media and asked not to be identified.
Power Majeure is a legal status protecting a party from legal responsibility if it can’t fulfill a contract for reasons beyond its control.
Libya holds Africa’s largest proven oil reserves, however, has endured extreme disruptions to its output and exports because of battles and blockades amongst rival armed teams. Earlier in July, before the first half of the month at Sharara, the NOC said oil production was about 1.3 MMbpd — its highest in six years but still well under the extent of output before the civil war that overthrew dictator Moammar Al Qaddafi in 2011.