Libya restarts oil production in largest field

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Production from Libya’s largest oil field resumed Sunday afternoon, Libyan officials said, a move that could quickly boost the country’s overall production after a prolonged shutdown and add to an oil glut in global markets that kept prices low.

Libya’s central government and rebel commander Khalifa Haftar agreed last month to lift a nine-month oil blockade after the two sides resolved a dispute over the distribution of oil revenues. The country’s oil production has already risen to 300,000 barrels per day, down from around 100,000 barrels per day in the past two weeks.

Sharara can contribute an additional 300,000 barrels per day, officials said. Its initial production was 27,000 barrels per day on Sunday. Field production has been closed almost continuously since the start of January – with the exception of a brief resumption in June. The slow return of the production halt in Libya has already put downward pressure on oil prices and is a consideration in a debate in Saudi Arabia over whether to increase production from the year next.

Libya, one of the world’s largest producers, was pumping some 1.3 million barrels a day before the deadlock forced authorities to halt production.

Write to Benoit Faucon at [email protected]

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