Libya’s National Oil Corporation (NOC) announced on July 10 that it had lifted force majeure on all oil exports from the country.
In a statement, the corporation revealed that the first tanker to export oil will be Kriti Bastion, which is loading 730,000 barrels of crude at Es Sider port. The tanker will carry the oil to Italy, one of the top customers of Libyan oil.
The NOC noted in its statement that increasing oil production in the country will take a long time due to the significant damage to reservoirs and infrastructure caused by the blockade imposed on January 17.
“On the top of the $6.5 billion in lost production we as a nation have suffered, the NOC faces huge extra costs to repair infrastructure damage, the cost of repairing pipelines, surface equipment and the maintained of wells will run to billions of dinars,” NOC Chairman Mustafa Sanalla said in the statement.
The NOC suspended oil exports six months ago as a result of the conflict between the Government of National Accord (GNA) and the Libyan National Army (LNA). The army, which controls major oil field and oil export ports, forced the shutdown in response to the Turkish intervention in Libya.
Prior to the shutdown, Libya, a key OPEC member, exported at least 1 million barrels a day of oil. The shutdown slashed production to around 90,000 barrels a day.
The resumption of Libya oil export could be a sign that the conflict between the GNA and the LNA is cooling down. A full political settlement between the two sides is still highly unlikely, however.