Libyan crude production has continued to be hit by strikes and protests in December.

Protests shut in 330,000 b/d production of El-Sharara crude operated by the Repsol-led Akakus joint venture for several days in mid-December. Production has since restarted after Libya’s new oil minister ‘Abd al-Bari al-‘Arusi visited the field on 17 December. The minister pledged to work to fulfill the protestors’ demands for jobs and training for the region’s youth, according to Libya’s NOC. In return the protestors ended their sit-in, NOC said. The country’s key Ras Lanuf refinery has also continued to be hit by strikes into December. This means that overall December output is set to be further down on that for November when the country’s crude output dipped to 1.54mn b/d from October’s post-revolution high of 1.56mn b/d as strikes shut Ras Lanuf for several days. Limited storage at the 220,000 b/d refinery and neighboring port – tanks destroyed during 2011’s fighting have yet to be replaced – means that problems at the refinery have a rapid impact on upstream production. (CONTINUED - 344 WORDS)