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Production at Libya's Elephant oil field unaffected after 'minor' staff evacuation: NOC

Tripoli — Production at Libya's 90,000 b/d Elephant oil field had not been impactedafter a minor evacuation of non-essential staff at the key southwesternfield, a source close to the state-owned National Oil Corporation saidThursday.

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The source said that production remains "completely unaffected and that aroutine non-essential staff evacuation" was conducted earlier in the day.

"Production staff continues to operate at the field," the source added.

This took place just a day after NOC held emergency talks with Tubutribesmen -- who were demanding more regular fuel supplies to theirregion -- to prevent the field's closure.

A spokesman at NOC could not be reached for a comment.

The Elephant field, also known as El-Feel, is operated by Mellitah Oiland Gas, a joint venture of NOC and Italy's Eni.

Crude from El-Feel and Sharara is pumped in to the 120,000 b/d Zawiyarefinery and export terminal. Although the Elephant field had been ableto produce around 90,000 b/d before Libya's revolution in 2011, outputhas been volatile in the last few years due to protests and deterioratingsecurity in the southern region.

Sources said that production at the field was around 72,000 b/d earlierin the day.

The closure of Sharara would be a major blow to Libya's output, which hasrisen to around 1 million b/d, up from an average of less than 400,000b/d in 2015 and 2016. The field was closed for much of those years due toprotests and attacks on its export pipelines. --Newsdesk-Libya, derek.sands@spglobal.com

--Edited by Derek Sands, newsdesk@spglobal.com