Libya To Reopen Some Oil Export Terminals

August 22, 2013

Bloomberg reports that Libya prepared to open some oil ports closed by labor unrest, as the government vied with guards for control of export facilities. The country’s navy said it would seize any tankers attempting illicit shipments.

The ports of Zueitina and Hariga are ready to resume exports, Ibrahim Al Awami, an oil ministry official, said today from Hariga. Another port, Brega, was operational as of today, a union representative said. Among other terminals, the country’s largest, Es Sider, remains closed. Earlier, the navy said it will forcibly escort back to port any vessel carrying the nation’s crude without authorization, according to a statement carried by the Libyan News Agency.

Brent crude has risen 3.5 percent this month amid the turmoil in Libya, the holder of Africa’s biggest reserves, and disruptions in Iraq and Nigeria. Libya’s production has fallen to less than half the level pumped before the 2011 uprising against Muammar Qaddafi as protests by the Petroleum Facilities Guard, or PFG, for better working conditions has hurt exports.

“A more severe or longer Libyan disruption would be more bullish,” said Mike Wittner, head of oil research for the Americas at Societe Generale SA in New York. “Our base case assumption is that the current strike and current level of disruptions will be over by October.”

Copyright: Bloomberg, 2013.