Libya's Es Sharara resumes production after blockade lifted

11 March 2014 15:58 Source:ICIS News

LONDON (ICIS)--Libya’s southern Es Sharara oil field was understood to be producing at around 200,000 bbl/day on Tuesday after resuming production last Saturday following the suspension of a blockade by protesters.

The suspension came about following the intervention of Libya’s defence minister Abdullah Al-Thanni who convinced the protesters to call it off.

Thanni was instrumental in lifting a previous blockade in January this year, but protesters shut the field again after their demands for a greater share of oil wealth were not met.

This latest lifting of the blockade could be temporary, however, as protesters have said it could resume in two weeks if their demands are not met.

Although this seems like a reasonably good deal now, buyers of the popular distillate-rich Es Sharara grade should be wary as a separate group near Reyayna have also turned down valves limiting flows to Zawiya, which is located in the north.

Es Sharara, which has a production capacity of around 350,000 bbl/day, has been repeatedly closed by various tribal groups since the summer of 2013.

Libya’s oil production is estimated at around 450,000 bbl/day, significantly below its capacity at around 1.60m bbl/day.

By Kawai Wong