A political crisis in Libya has nearly halted all oil production as more ports and oil fields are shut down. OPEC member’s daily production is down by 1.1 million barrels compared to 1.2 million barrels last year, Oil Minister Mohamed Oun told Bloomberg on Monday. That means Libya pumps about 100,000 barrels daily, Bloomberg reported.
The reduction in supplies will tighten a worldwide market that has seen crude prices rise by more than 50% this year to approximately $120 per barrel. Traders are already paying a larger premium for North Sea crude, which is comparable to Libyan oil in grade.
“Almost all the oil and gas activities in the east of Libya are being shut down,” Oun said.
Protesters pushed employees to shut down the important eastern oil ports of Es Sider and Ras Lanuf, resulting in the latest drop.
Workers at Hariga, the country’s second-largest port, were also told to shut down. Two persons acquainted with the issue claimed on Monday that the 125,000 barrel-per-day Sarir field, from which oil flows to the port, had been totally shut off.
Together, the three ports handle over 70% of Libya’s entire production. After militants closed the big Sharara and El Feel fields in mid-April, the country’s output had already been cut to 600,000 barrels per day.