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Crude production from the Waha fields in the Sirte basin fell by 70,000-100,000 b/d after a 26 December explosion on the oil pipeline connecting the fields to the Es Sider export terminal. The blast was near Zaltan, some 130km south of Es Sider. The Waha fields were producing about 235,000 b/d (and 145mn cfd of gas) prior to the explosion, with output having doubled in the second half of 2017 ( MEES, 1 December 2017 ). The Es Sider terminal, along with those at Brega and Zueitina, was closed between 21-25 December due to bad weather, but exports were not affected.
No explanation has been given for the explosion, though it was preceded by reports in local media of terrorists placing bags of explosives under the pipeline in the Maradah region. NOC “continues to investigate the causes of the explosion and is closely monitoring developments,” it said. Oil in storage at Es Sider was sufficient to prevent a drop in exports, according to oil traders.
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