LIBYAN OIL RETURNS
Libyan oil is returning to global markets following the reopening of an Eastern port and an increase in production, an oil official said Sunday.
Returning supplies, even limited ones, from the North African country could bring relief to markets rattled by mounting fears of Iraqi disruptions.
Speaking to The Wall Street Journal, Mohammed el-Harari, a spokesman for state-owned National Oil Co. said a tanker with a capacity of 350,000 barrels destined for Europe has finished loading from the Eastern oil port of Hariga and a second will follow soon. He said the facility reopened over the weekend after protests by guards over wages arrears came to an end.
Last month, Libya was forced to divert its crude exports to a local refinery after dwindling oil flows led to a risk of fuel shortages.
Following the resumption of production at two fields, the country's oil production now stands at 270,000 barrels a day, Mr. Harari said. That is up from about 150,000 barrels a day at the end of May, though it is still a fraction of normal output of 1.6 million barrels a day.
Libya's production and exports have been frequently shut by strikes and armed occupations since a civil war that toppled strongman Moammar Gadhafi in 2011.
The impact of the disruptions on global markets has been compounded by escalating unrest in Iraq, which normally exports 2.6 million barrels of oil a day.
Sunni militants fighting Baghdad's central government have taken control of several towns in Western Iraq and are battling for control of the country's largest refinery.
So far, the conflict hasn't affected Iraq's largest fields in the South. But disruption fears pushed the Brent—the widely traded global oil contract—to a nine-month high last week above $115 a barrel.
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