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Libya's oil output falls almost 80% since Jan. 18 port blockade: NOC

Dubai — Libya's oil production has fallen by almost 80% since forces loyal to self-styled General Khalifa Haftar of the Libyan National Army imposed a blockade on the OPEC producer's five key ports, prompting state-run National Oil Corp. to declare force majeure on exports from the terminals, NOC said in a twitter notice on Sunday.

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Libya's oil output dropped to 284,153 b/d on January 24, from more than 1.2 million b/d prior to the blockade, NOC said in a public information bulletin.

NOC said it assessed cumulative losses of nearly $318 million as a result of the shuttering of the five oil ports, which curtailed production from its major fields and forced it to declare force majeure on exports from the ports of Brega, Ras Lanuf, Marsa el Hariga, Zueitina and Es Sider terminals. Cumulative production losses reached 4.84 million barrels between January 18 and January 24, it said.

"NOC renews its call for blockades to be lifted to allow the corporation to resume production immediately, to secure continuing supply of fuel products to all regions and to restore vital revenues to the Libyan economy," the company said on twitter.

Zawiya refinery is operating and producing fuel for domestic needs, NOC said. Benghazi has 5 days of gasoline storage capacity, 13 days of diesel and 13 days of LPG, it said. Tobruk has 6 days of gasoline, 8 days of diesel and 3 days of LPG, while Sebha has no capacity for gasoline or LPG and 11 days for diesel, NOC said.

The LNA, which is backed by Russia and other countries, and the UN-backed Government of National Accord, led by Prime Minister Fayez al-Serraj and supported by Turkey, have clashed since April of 2019, impacting the oil industry.

Although the two officials attended a Berlin peace conference on January 19 and agreed to a temporary truce, the blockade has continued amid lingering differences between the two sides of the conflict.

Libya, which is exempt from OPEC+ output cuts, produced more than 1 million b/d of oil in December, according to the latest S&P Global Platts OPEC survey.

Libya has the largest proven reserves of oil in Africa, and its crude is coveted because it is light and sweet.