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Libya moves to reopen oilfields, ports

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Libya’s state National Oil Corporation (NOC) said it is preparing to resume oil exports as engineers and workers gradually return to their workplaces at some fields and ports.

According to a statement made by the company, the gradual return of engineers is “a first step toward resuming production operations at Brega and Harika ports”.

It, however, added that resumption of work at other ports will depend on how safe they are.

Last week, Khalifa Haftar, who leads the eastern-based forces, ended his loyalists’ months-long blockade of oil facilities.

His followers had shut down the country’s oilfields and terminals since January to put pressure on their rivals, the Tripoli-based government recognised by the UN.

Tankers are scheduled to arrive on Wednesday and crude oil to be loaded in them during the next 72 hours, the NOC said.

Total production is expected to reach about 260,000 barrels per day during the next week, it added.

The country produced more than 1 million barrels per day earlier in January. The blockade caused severe losses, of up to 10 billion dollars.

On Sunday, the company said operations resumed at the Sirte oil and gas fields.

Libya, where oil exports are the main source of national income, has been in turmoil since a 2011 revolt toppled long-time dictator Muammar Gaddafi.



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