Newly Pumped Crude Leaves Reopened Libyan Port of Ras Lanuf
A tanker left the Libyan port of Ras Lanuf on Monday carrying the first freshly produced crude oil to be exported since the terminal reopened in September, a port official said.
The tanker shipped 600,000 barrels and a second tanker was due to dock at Ras Lanuf shortly, the official said. Ras Lanuf is one of four ports that forces loyal to eastern commander Khalifa Haftar seized in September. Three had been blockaded by a rival faction.
The National Oil Corporation (NOC) reopened them and the first export cargo for about two years was shipped from Ras Lanuf in late September. However, until now all oil at the terminal had been taken from existing stocks.
The reopening of the eastern ports has helped Libya's national production double to around 600,000 barrels per day (bpd), though that output is still far less than the 1.6 million bpd Libya was producing before its 2011 uprising.
NOC Chairman Mustafa Sanalla told Reuters on Monday that production stood at 598,000 barrels.
Production at the reopened ports and the fields that supply them also remains below capacity, partly due to damage to infrastructure during fighting. One of the ports, Es Sider, remains shut.
At the third port, Zueitina, an official said three tankers had loaded this month with a fourth expected, compared to about 20 tankers per month when the port was operating normally. Later this month the port hopes to receive the first gas tanker since it reopened, the official said.
(Reporting by Ayman al-Warfalli and Ahmed Elumami; Writing by Aidan Lewis)