By Libya Herald staff.
Tripoli, 23 August 2013:
The National Oil Corporation of Libya has withdrawn the declaration of force majeure at the . . .[restrict]oil port of Brega. In an announcement on its website, it says exports have resumed at the terminal after an interruption of several weeks and that the rescinding of the declaration was made “in coordination with the relevant authorities and Petroleum Facilities Guard”.
On 18 August, NOC announced a state of force majeure telling its customers it could no longer guarantee contracted supplies of crude and refined products from the four eastern terminals of Brega, Sidra, Ras Lanuf and Zueitina. In a letter it said that the four “sea port terminals are closed due to the Petroleum Facilities Guards who are on strike at these locations since the end of July 2013, which resulted total shutdown for these facilities and cease of all exports”. The letter was signed by NOC chairman Nuri Berruien.
The Marsa Hariga oil terminal at Tobruk was not included in the force majeure declaration despite industrial action also forcing its closure, and yesterday Deputy Oil Minister Omar Shakmak was quoted by the Libyan news agency LANA saying that operations there were back to normal after protestors had quit. Sirda and Brega remained closed, Shakmak reportedly said, adding that national production was up to 680,000 barrels per day (b/d) from last week’s figure of between 600,000 and 630,000 b/d.
The statement was, however, quickly denied by Hariga terminal’s director, Yassin Hamad, according to a further report from LANA. It quoted him saying that, 16 days on, the terminal was remained closed as a result of a strike and blockade by guards. He said that a tanker had tried to uplift an authorised shipment of oil but had been prevented by the protestors. Staff from Agoco were negotiating with them to end the blockade, he was further reported as saying.
The government has accused Petroleum Facilities Guards units in the east of attempting to sell oil privately and has warned that force will be used to ensure that only legal exports of oil are made.