(Author: Libyan Gazette Editorial Staff)
Es Sider – Libya’s largest oil port, begins repairs.
On Sunday, Galal Mohamed, Waha Oil Corporation’s director of operations, said that oil production and exports from the newly reopened oil ports are likely to begin in a month. The only thing currently holding production back is an official order to reopen the oil ports, said Mohamed.
Es Sider, which is operated by the Waha Oil Corporation, was shut down in December of 2014 after armed groups vying for control attacked the oil port.
“We haven’t received official orders to reopen the port and resume exports, but there were intensive meetings with the National Oil Corporation (NOC) officials last week to discuss this,” said Mohamed. Mohamed also explained that out of the 19 oil storage tanks at Es Sider, six of tanks have been damaged by clashes at the oil port since December 2014.
Last month, an agreement was reached that unified two rival management teams of the NOC hoping to significantly increase Libya’s oil exports. Many oil ports in Libya have been targets of ongoing fighting among militias who are fighting to take control of the ports. The fighting has resulted in damages to the oil port’s facilities making it even more difficult to resume oil production. Oil production went from 1.78 million barrels of oil per day in 2008 to 300,000 barrels of oil per day in July of this year.
Mohamed said in the first six months of oil production his corporation should be able to produce 17,000 barrels per day. Es Sider’s export capacity is 340,000 barrels of oil per day, which was halted in 2014 after clashes between rival militias became consistent.
On July 28, an agreement between the Petroleum Facilities Guard (PFG) and the UN-backed unity government (GNA) was reached that will allow for the Es Sider, Ras Lanuf and Zueitina oil ports to reopen.
Oil production and exports from these ports and the funds released to the NOC will allow for an increase of oil production by over 900,000 barrels per day by December of this year, said the NOC.
The NOC is in the process of working on “difficulties and technical problem in the entire oil fields,” said a statement posted on the NOC’s website.