Shipments from the ports of Es Sider, the country’s largest, and Ras Lanuf were suspended until the security situation improves and workers return to the facilities, Jadalla Alaokali, a board member of Libya’s National Oil Corp., said by phone. Production from fields feeding Es Sider and Ras Lanuf has been reduced and output may be cut further if the ports remain shut and the situation doesn’t improve soon, he said.
NOC so far sees no need to declare force majeure, a legal status protecting a party from liability if it can’t fulfill a contract for reasons beyond its control, Alaokali said.
The Benghazi Defense Brigades, a militia not allied to the United Nations-backed government in Tripoli, seized the Es Sider terminal on Friday, according to people with knowledge of matter, who asked not to be identified because they aren’t authorized to speak to the media. The facility had previously been under the control of eastern-based military commander Khalifa Haftar.
The clashes jeopardize a surge in Libya’s oil production to about 700,000 barrels a day after output and exports resumed from Es Sider and other facilities previously blockaded by fighting between armed groups. Production in February was almost double the level of a year ago, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Libya holds Africa’s largest crude reserves.