By Libya Herald staff.
Tripoli, 28 April, 2014:
Force majeure has been lifted at Zueitina oil terminal, it has been today announced by . . .[restrict]the National Oil Corporation. The announcement had the effect of pushing down the price of Brent Crude oil on the international markets by $1.46 a barrel.
The terminal was closed by Ibrahim Jadhran and his federalist Cyrenaica forces last July, along with those at Sidra and Ras Lanouf. It was supposedly handed back to the government three weeks ago in a deal that included the Marsa Al-Hariga terminal at Tobruk. Hariga quickly restarted operations. However, it has been a much slower process at Zueitina, with some local officials accusing the government of dragging its feet over securing the terminal and lifting force majeure and others stating that there were still Jadhran forces operating in the area.
“No oil tankers are going to go to Zueitina until force majeure has been lifted,” one of the country’s top oil officials said on Saturday.
Although operated by Zueitina Oil, which in normal times exports around 70,000 b/d from it, the terminal is used by other oil companies and has the capacity to handle nearly 20 percent of Libyan crude exports.
It is unclear, however, when the first tanker will head to the terminal. The authorities are said to be assessing damage there.
A minor breakthrough in negotiations between Jadhran and the authorities came yesterday when the Justice Minister, Salah Bashir Al-Marghani, announced the creation of a committee to investigate corruption in oil sales, one of Jadhran’s demands. [/restrict]