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VENTURES AFRICA – Libya’s Southern El Sharara oil field has been reopened for production after protesters, who marshalled a blockade, agreed to suspend their actions.
The North African country has been faced with dwindling oil outputs since October last year, with production dropping as low as 250,000 barrels per day from 1.4 million recorded in July.
The drop was a result of militia actions, after forces which helped topple Muammar Gaddafi but kept their arms seized several oil ports, seeking greater local power, local newspaper AhramOnline indicated.
However, a visit by the Defence Minister, Abdullah Al-Thinni, and an assurance that their demands will be looked into, the protesters holding El Sharara field have agreed to allow work resume.
Oil production started last weekend with an initial output of 60,000 bpd, and aims to reach maximum capacity of 340,000 bpd this week, the country’s National Oil Corp (NOC) said.
Despite the significant progress on the Southern field, Libya is faced with contrasting fortunes in the East with little or no positives recorded in the attempt to resume work on Ras Lanuf, Es-Sider and Zuweitina ports – which accounts for 600,000 bpd – as protesters demand greater share of oil revenues.