LIBYAN OIL WILL UP
WSJ - Operations have restarted at two key oil fields and a connected pipeline in Western Libya that have been shut down for over two years, Libyan officials said, following an agreement with local tribes.
A pipeline that can transport over 400,000 barrels a day of oil from two connected fields has partly reopened, the officials said. If successful, the pipeline's reopening could bring back more than 200,000 barrels a day of oil within days, one of the officials said.
The potential return to the market of hundreds of thousands of barrels of Libyan crude comes just as oil prices have rallied on the promise of production cuts by members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and other major producers.
An increase in Libyan output of 400,000 barrels a day would almost completely make up for the barrels that Saudi Arabia agreed to cut as part of OPEC's historic Nov. 30 deal aimed at countering a supply glut that has depressed prices.
Libya, which has been seeking to restore production levels, was exempt from that agreement and is allowed to ramp up its production while other OPEC members have agreed to cut.
But previous attempts to restart oil operations have frequently aborted in Libya's restive provinces, casting some doubt on whether this latest deal will result in a significant rise in output.
An agreement was reached between the internationally-recognized authorities in Tripoli and local tribes who have been seeking more jobs from the government related to the oil industry. The pipeline's shutdown as a result of the dispute contributed to Libya's ongoing struggle to get its oil industry back on its feet.
One of the fields has restarted pumping, the officials said, and one official said the producing field was el-Feel, which is partly owned by Italy's Eni SpA.
A spokesman for ENI declined to comment.
Production is being closely watched around the world after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries agreed Nov. 30 to output cuts.
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