Libya’s oil refining company stops production as crude runs out

A Libyan oil refinery. (Reuters)

Libya’s Azzawiya Oil Refining Company said on Sunday it was forced to stop refining operations due to a lack of crude supplies and no inventory.

A source from the company, a subsidy of Libya’s state oil firm the National Oil Corporation (NOC), said two refining units with a capacity of 60,000 barrels each had stopped.

Oil output in Libya has fallen sharply since January 18 because of a blockade of ports and fields by groups loyal to Eastern Libyan commander Khalifa Haftar,

Libya’s oil production had dropped to 181,576 barrels per day (bpd) by Thursday from about 1.2 million bpd before the stoppage.

The NOC said the losses from the blockade amount to about $1.042 billion.

On Thursday, UN Libya envoy Ghassan Salame said he had talked to tribesmen behind the blockade and was awaiting their demands.

He also said the blockade would be at the top of the agenda at a meeting in Cairo on Sunday between representatives from eastern, western and southern Libya seeking to overcome economic divisions in a country with two governments.

In a sign that a reopening of ports might not be imminent, tribes and communities in oil-rich areas in eastern Libya held by Haftar’s Libyan National Army (LNA) said in a statement on Saturday they opposed resuming oil exports unless Tripoli was freed of militias.

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Last Update: 08:51 KSA 11:51 - GMT 08:51
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