Libya’s crude production declined after a pipeline explosion, and repairs may take days before the North African supplier’s output can recover.
The Opec member’s output dropped to 950,000 bpd yesterday, a person directly involved in the matter said. Production was 1.08mn bpd as of December 18, indicating a drop of 12%. The pipeline will need about a week for repairs, two other people familiar with the situation said. All three people asked not to be identified because they’re not authorized to speak to the media.
Oil rallied on Tuesday on news of the explosion at the pipeline used to carry crude to the Es Sider terminal, Libya’s biggest export terminal. Loadings at Es Sider are down about 50%, one of the people said. Brent crude, a global benchmark, dropped 1.3% at 4.09pm in Dubai after gaining 2.7% on Tuesday. Es Sider was scheduled to ship 13 cargoes this month, each carrying 600k barrels of crude, according to a loading plan obtained by Bloomberg.
Several meters of the pipeline were damaged, puncturing it with two holes, and emergency staff is on site, one of the people said. Waha Oil Co, which operates the pipeline, called the explosion a “sabotage act,” and is ready to move to the site after getting clearance from security, according to a statement yesterday on its website. The blast occurred 130km (81 miles) south of Es Sider, the state-run National Oil Corp said Tuesday.
The decline in Libyan output coincides with efforts by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and other producers to cut output to rein in a global glut.
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