An oil tanker docked at the East Libyan port of Es Sider late December to load the first cargo of crude since the terminal reopened following a two-year closure, Reuters reported.
The tanker, the Alicante, is due to load 600,000 barrels of oil for export to the Augusta oil refinery in Sicily, Italy. A second tanker is expected to load oil at Sidra before the end of December, according to Libya Herald.
Es Sider, Libya’s biggest export terminal, had been shut due to a blockade by a military faction since 2014. It reopened in mid September, but repairs were needed before tankers could load at the port, and its capacity remains far below its pre-conflict level of 350,000b/d. Force majeure was also lifted at nearby Ras Lanuf, with the Maltese-registered SeaDelta being the first tanker to take on oil from the port.
Libya’s oil production has been slashed by political disputes and armed conflict in recent years, and is one of two members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) that is not bound by the bloc’s pledge to cut oil production by about 1.2bb/d during the first half of 2017. The North African country’s output remains well below the more than 1.6mb/d it was producing before a 2011 uprising.