Libya's largest oil terminal back in operation


Libya's largest oil terminal back in operation

TRIPOLI -- Libya's largest oil terminal, along with a smaller oil port, returned to operations Tuesday after being shut by protests last week, the country's deputy oil minister said.

The shut down of the two terminals in recent days had contributed to a rise in oil prices already buoyed by a political crisis in Egypt.

"Es Sider and Ras Lanuf have resumed operations," Libya's deputy oil minister Omar Shakmak told The Wall Street Journal.

The Es Sider terminal normally exports 300,000 bopd, about a quarter of the 1.2 MMbopd experts say Libya exported on average last year.

Es Sider exports crude from the Waha Oil Co., one of Libya's largest joint ventures in which U.S. companies Marathon Oil, ConocoPhillips and Hess are partners.

Since a civil war toppled Moammar Gadhafi in 2011, Libya--which plays a key role in feeding European refineries--has been rattled by frequent protests and strikes at its oil fields and ports. Last month, crude production briefly dipped below 1 million barrels a day--a level not reached since the immediate aftermath of the conflict.

The latest Libyan disruptions comes after a political crisis in neighboring Egypt revived geopolitical risk on oil markets, which hitherto had been overshadowed by a U.S. oil boom.

Although Egypt isn't an oil producer of note, some 3 MMbpd pass through the strategic Suez Canal and the Suez-Mediterranean pipeline that runs from the Ain Sukhna terminal on the Gulf of Suez to the Sidir Kerir terminal on the Mediterranean. Officials said the routes hadn't been disrupted.

Dow Jones Newswires

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