By Callum Paton.
Tripoli, 11 February . . .[restrict]2014:
The Ministry of Oil and Gas has announced that oil production has risen to 600,000 barrels per day, up from 478,329 b/d posted on 2 February.
The ministry says the increased production is a result of extra output from the Sharara oilfield which is now producing 327,000 b/d, almost at full capacity. Operations restarted at the oilfield at the beginning of January after the withdrawal of Tuareg protesters who had blockaded it for two months. A week ago, an armed group in the Jebel Nafusa forced a 40-percent cut in Shahara production by turning down a valve on the pipeline from the field to Zawia. The problem appears to have been resolved.
National Oil Corporation (NOC) spokesman, Mohammed Al-Harrari, told the Libya Herald said that Sharara was working at higher capacity because of increased exports from Zawia oil terminal. He said that oil tankers had been stopped from entering Zawia because of bad weather conditions but this was no longer the case.
Oil production rose to 1.5 million b/d by 2012 following the revolution but was cut dramatically in the second half of 2013 due to the armed oil blockade of Libya’s eastern oil terminals.
Harrari said the NOC was still deeply unhappy about blockades in the east. These, he said, had “caused the suffering for five and a half million Libyans”. He added that he hoped the government would be able to find a solution to the problem soon.