Libya’s National Oil Corporation (NOC) says it is ready to lift the force majeure from the port of Es Sider to allow a tanker to load crude oil from storage, but has urged foreign mercenaries and armed groups to leave the oil terminal immediately.

The Suezmax tanker Delta Ocean was seen heading towards Es Sider to load a crude cargo, but the tanker has slowed its speed as a production restart deal has still to be agreed. The tanker is expected to reach Es Sider by July 9, according to data from S&P Global Platts.

NOC said there is an urgent need to resume production “as soon as possible, to stop the damage” to the country’s oil infrastructure and “protect vital assets from further deterioration and collapse.”

Force majeure declarations on crude loadings at the Marsa el-Hariga, Brega, Es Sider, Ras Lanuf and Zueitina terminals remain in place, as the ports are still being blockaded by the guards.

Libya is currently pumping around 100,000 b/d, according to Platts estimates. Prior to the blockade, the OPEC member was producing more than 1.10 million b/d.

State-owned NOC warned that the country’s crude output could halve in the coming years, unless the ongoing blockade on its eastern terminals is lifted soon.

NOC Chairman Mustafa Sanalla warned of the “permanent” damage to the country’s oil sector from both a budgetary and technical perspective, which will have severe repercussions on its future output capacity.

Sanalla cautioned that Libya’s crude production could slump to 650,000 b/d in 2022, “in the absence of an immediate restart of oil production and because of the state’s failure to provide the requested budgets to address the many challenges resulting from the blockade”.

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9th July 2020