Libya's oil output revival thwarted by pipeline explosion

By Salma El Wardany on 12/26/2017

CAIRO (Bloomberg) -- Libya’s oil industry revival suffered a setback Tuesday after an explosion at a pipeline carrying crude to the OPEC nation’s biggest export terminal. Oil rallied as a result.

Production will drop by 70,000 to 100,000 bopd after the explosion, the state-run National Oil Corp. said in a statement. The pipeline, operated by Waha Oil Company, carries crude to the Es Sider terminal. The blast occurred 81 mi south of Sidra.

Output in Libya, where oil fields have endured sporadic shutdowns and disruptions due to protests, power blackouts and fighting, rose to about 1 MMbpd this year, the highest level in four years, and was recently about that level. Brent crude, the global benchmark, rose as much as 2.5% after news of the explosion. Waha is a joint venture between Libya’s National Oil, Hess Corp., Marathon Oil Corp. and ConocoPhillips.

Libya and Nigeria are supposed to restrict their combined production to no more than 2.8 MMbopd, Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said after the November meeting of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. Any drop in production will ease pressure on OPEC and its allies in their effort to drain an oversupply and prop up prices.

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