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Libya looks to divert eastern crude export flows to other marine terminals

Vienna — Libya's National Oil Corp. hopes to divert some of its stranded crude suppliesto other oil export terminals after attacks forced the closure of two keyeastern ports.

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Libya's crude output has halved from around 950,000 b/d in May after armedclashes between rival militia groups at key export terminals last Thursday.

"Production is low, unfortunately. We lost 450,000 b/d just due to the crisisin Es Sider and Ras Lanuf, and we lost another huge quantity from the AGOCOfields due to technical issues", NOC chairman Mustafa Sanalla told journalistsin Vienna Wednesday.

Sanalla said the company was working to divert some of its crude to othereastern export terminals to make up for the losses, although that was expectedto take some time.

The most likely alternative would be the nearby Brega and Zueitina terminals.Along with Ras Lanuf and Es Sider, these also serve the Sirte basin, acollection of oil and gas fields in central and eastern Libya that account foraround 650,000 b/d, roughly two-thirds of the country's total production.

Libya had been exporting at just over 800,000 b/d in May, with around 200,000b/d from Es Sider and 150,000 b/d from Ras Lanuf, one Libya source estimated.Brega and Zueitina accounted for around 100,000 b/d combined.

Two storage tanks at Ras Lanuf were set on fire during the attacks, one ofwhich collapsed. The terminal had five operational storage tanks storing up to950,000 barrels. That figure has been cut to just 550,000 barrels, and therewas a risk of further damage to other tanks if the fires spread.

While upstream production has not been directly impacted by fighting betweenrival militias, the lack of storage space has meant exports from the two mainterminals cannot continue, even if security improves. -- Adal Mirza, adal.mirza@spglobal.com#Staff, newsdesk@spglobal.com

-- Edited by Daniel Lalor, newsdesk@spglobal.com