Fighting around Es Sider and Ras Lanuf forced the closure of two of Libya’s main oil export terminals in early March, eroding crude production increases made in recent months (MEES, 17 March). The decision to close the facilities was taken as a precaution as rival militias competed for control of the only recently re-opened outlets. Output fell by close to 100,000 b/d in the first two weeks of March from about 700,000 b/d at the beginning of the month, according to officials from Tripoli-based National Oil Corporation (NOC).

The 450,000 b/d Es Sider terminal and the 250,000 b/d Ras Lanuf facility on the Sirte basin coast were both shut down by NOC as workers were evacuated in response to the fighting. The organisation stopped short of declaring force majeure, but crude production was ceased by Waha Oil Company, a joint venture of NOC and three US firms – ConocoPhillips (16.33%), Marathon (16.33%) and Hess (8.16%). (CONTINUED - 1038 WORDS)