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Libya producing 363,000 bpd of oil, says rival minister

The United Nations and Western powers do not recognize the administration which controls ministries in Tripoli

Published: Updated:

Oil output from Libya, where ports and oilfields have been shut due to fighting, has fallen to 363,000 barrels a day with exports at about 200,000, the oil minister appointed by forces in control of the capital Tripoli told Reuters.

Two governments allied to armed factions are vying for control of Libya four years after the toppling of leader Muammar Qaddafi.

The United Nations and Western powers do not recognize the administration which controls ministries in Tripoli.

Its oil minister, Mashallah Zwai, told Reuters in an interview that Libya is producing 362,780 bpd of oil, showing a report from the National Oil Corp.

That is down by half from November, when OPEC member Libya
was producing around 750,000 barrels a day, and well below the
1.6 million which the North African country produced in 2010.

Zwai said oil revenues would fall to between $10 billion and $12 billion this year after slumping to $15 billion in 2014 when Libya suffered a budget deficit of $19 billion.

Output has fallen since facilities such as the El Sharara oilfield and the ports of Ras Lanuf and Es Sider were shut down due to nearby clashes or pipeline blockages.

Foreign oil buyers have been confused over who is in charge since a faction called Libya Dawn took over the capital in August, forcing Libya's recognised prime minister and elected assembly to move to the east of the country.

Zwai works in the old minister's Tripoli office in a building which also houses the NOC.

He said some 150,000 bpd of crude was being used for domestic refineries and that the biggest one in Zawiya was producing 110,000 bpd, just 10,000 short of its maximum capacity.

He said the biggest contributors were Arabian Gulf Co (AGOCO) which was producing 131,547 bpd from fields in Libya's far east and the Hariga port which has largely escaped the violence gripping other parts of the country.

The Sirte Oil Co is producing 54,000 bpd through the eastern port of Brega to supply the Zawiya refinery, the NOC figures showed.

Libya's conflict also involves tribal loyalties, federalist movements and rival political groups often allied to their cities or regions.

That has complicated U.N. efforts to bring the recognized government of Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thinni and Libya Dawn fully into negotiations in Geneva over a unity government. Talks are due to restart on Monday.