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Oil

Libya crude oil output boosted by Amal, As-Sarah fields

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Libya crude oil output boosted by Amal, As-Sarah fields

London — Libya's crude oil production edged up again this week, with increased output from two smaller fields in the east of the country, sources said Friday.

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With all its oil terminals currently open, the country's crude output has climbed to over two-month highs of around 1 million b/d.

Two more eastern oil fields -- Amal and As-Sarah -- are also back contributing to Libya's exports. Crudes from both fields are blended into the Amna crude stream which is shipped from Libya's Ras Lanuf oil terminal.

A spokesman from Germany's Wintershall which operates the As-Sarah field confirmed output was gradually ramping up.

"End of August we were able to start up production in C96 [oil block] again with a capacity of up to 50,000 b/d. Production volumes are still depending on availability of external export pipelines and capacity of loading terminals," the spokesman said.

Harouge Oil Operations, a joint venture of state-owned National Oil Corp. and PetroCanada, raised output from the Amal field to 25,000 b/d, sources said.

The field had been producing at just 8,000 b/d due to maintenance in July and August, the sources added.

The Ras Lanuf terminal was only receiving 30,000 b/d of crude as of Saturday, compared to 125,000 b/d in January to May this year.

But a number of its crude storage tanks were destroyed during fighting in June over Libya's eastern oil ports, leaving just four intact. The limited storage capacity could prove a key constraint on exports.

The last tanker to load from Ras Lanuf was the Stemnitsa, which sailed Thursday and is currently heading to the Italian port of Trieste, according to S&P Global Platts trade flow software cFlow.

Wintershall, the operator of the NC-96 and NC-97 blocks, which includes As-Sarah, has been locked in a dispute with NOC since the beginning of 2017 over the terms of its contract.

The situation was complicated last November by Wintershall being forced to shut the As-Sarah field due to protests. It was only re-opened in late-January.

A representative at Harouge could not be reached for comment.

--Adal Mirza, adal.mirza@spglobal.com

--Eklavya Gupte, eklavya.gupte@spglobal.com

--Newsdesk-Libya, newsdesk@spglobal.com

--Edited by Jeremy Lovell, jeremy.lovell@spglobal.com